In early December, there was a huge loss in my daughter’s life…
The day started with us having breakfast and talking while praising her grandfather for the person he was. I told her, “That old man is going to out live us all. He is so active and in such good health.” Two hours later my daughter received a text from her dad saying that her grandfather passed away an hour ago and that he was heading to his sister’s house (her aunt). All that my daughter was told is that her grandfather had suffered a heart attack.
My daughter came to me crying hysterically after hearing the news. When I asked her what was wrong, she told me her grandfather had passed away. I quickly hugged her while we cried together. At that moment, I too felt a great loss.
The loss of a great man who lived each day of his life until the day he had to go.
The loss of a great man who my daughter got to know and the importance of him in her life.
The type of person he was
For as long as I have known this man, he was always a very active person and that continued until the day he died. His grandson of two years was the new person in his life and the one who he spent most of his time with. After all, the child was named after him and what a joy this child brought to his life each and every day. (For those who follow me, this grandson I am referring to is not my daughter’s brother).
My daughter told me that when she visited last summer, out of the corner of her eye she would see the baby crawl by and then she would see her Grandfather crawling not far behind. I could just picture it. That must have been one hell of sight to see an 83-year-old man crawling after his grandson like that.
This man was a public figure in the community known for helping others and taking his business from nothing to something that the entire city had witnessed throughout the years. He was the go to guy for many. Besides working his business that he managed for over 50 years and supporting his family, he spent a lot of his working life preparing the future for his children by making sure they had a place of their own to live. I doubt they even noticed.
Over the last two years, this man would get up every morning and head to his son’s business to help out and watch his grandson. When he wasn’t working, he would spend playful time with his grandson and taking care of his animals. He would only relax in the evenings. This man had energy.
My distant memory of him
The man who threatened to go to the local police to report me every three months if I wouldn’t leave the country during that first year and a half I was living in Greece.
The man who thought I was American spy who worked for the American Embassy and was only there to spy on his business.
The man who would continually say that that American (meaning me) needs to return to her own country.
Over the years, I never held anything against him because he didn’t know any better. I believe he thought these things of me because he was only concerned for his son.
The relief of doing the right thing no matter the past
I am so glad that I sent my daughter the last two summers to Greece to spend time and get to know her grandfather. I have never been one to hold anything against a person who had done me wrong.
I just wish my X would have thought the same way. My X never allowed his father to meet his son, which is the second grandson of the family. I guess Greeks aren’t as family orientated as we were lead to believe.
My daughter’s thoughts
My daughter told me that the universe has cheated her out of a few more years with her Grandfather. She told me that two summers were just not enough. She wanted to talk to him about so much more. My heart went out to her as I then realized how close they had become and what an impact he had had on her life.