Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Year We Lost our Grandfathers

Knowing that the Grim Reaper comes for those who are indeed first in line given their age and health issues does not make loosing a family member any easier. Within a month apart, both my husband and me lost our grandfathers. They were both almost 90 and their health, their bodies were failing them in the past few months to the point that living was not easy. Both have been blessed with long lives and relatively good health well into their 80s so I guess that in and of itself is more than any of us can hope to experience given our sedentary way of life and the questionable quality of food we are ingesting.
That does not mean that their lives were easy. My husband's grandfather survived the Second World War in a German labor camp. My grandfather was purposefully displaced from Montenegro - the land of stone and hills - to the rural flats of the Serbian northern province of Vojvodina. They both spent most of their lives tending to the land and animals, although they both also earned their pensions through regular office work.
Losing my grandfather means there is one less member of my family from my late father's side and that makes me so sad because it's also like every time that happens I'm also losing another part of my dad again. My grandpa was a tall, strong man, with wavy hair - a feature most of us, his grand kids, have inherited. He was very optimistic and easygoing in his manner and very disciplined and hardworking. He could cook wonderfully, another trait that runs among the male members of my family, and could also make a mean apple strudel. He was also very stubborn, another of his characteristics that some of us (khm, khm) inherited without doubt.
My husband's grandfather was a figure of authority, old-school man of the house type, but also with a great sense of humor and very lovable. In some photos the resemblance between him, my husband and my daughter is uncanny. Visiting his home in Slavonija, in Croatia, enjoying the outdoors, the country stuff so appealing to the kids grown up among the concrete blocks of a big city, was every bit as exciting for me as it was for my daughter. He lived an honest, simple life albeit taking the hard way out of some situations because that's just the way he was. Obstinacy is also a family trait in my husband and my daughter and it is he who they have to thank for it.
I will miss them both a lot. They will never meet the baby growing inside of me, but my daughter will remember them both.
My maternal grandfather, though, is still alive and well, going strong aged 84, and I am very thankful for that. His is a very special place in my heart.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Fire away - I'd love to hear what you have to say . . .