“Other things may change us, but we start and end with family”
Whether or not he was "pleasant" about it is debatable, depending upon the perspective from which you observed it, but my grandfather valued his family above everything else. It is obvious to me this morning on Christmas. It wasn't necessarily "fun" for him but it was important. Having the family together was important.
I am still probably too young to understand a lot. Ok, I AM too young to understand a lot. However, this morning, I miss my family. All the ridiculous emotional drama hasn't changed from the past, but I have also not spent a holiday with any member of my family for years. And each year I feel the pull getting a little stronger.
It was the eve of Christmas Eve, 367 days ago, that my grandparents, on the phone at the same time, called me. I was at the bus stop at school, on my way home. They called me and shared the news of my grandfather's lung cancer and he told me he had decided to give me his car. More than anything I remember wondering if I had missed my last opportunity to spend thanksgiving or christmas with him.
And as it turns out he is spending it with me still. I will take his car out for a drive today in the sunny Seattle christmas air, and remember the holidays in the past that I am fortunate enough to have shared with him and the rest of my family. And remember them fondly even if they weren't as fun as I think they ought to have been at the time.
Because I can't get them back now. And it can never happen again.