Not all my cousins got these experiences like I did. Probably only two of us did. My cousin, Dylan and I. And even for him it was different because by the time he was 12, his parents separated and he missed out on some good years that were ruined by his parents drama. But Dylan and I were always the closest to Pap and Grandma.
As a kid, I would fight my parents when they left me. I would drag on to the car as they pulled out. I didn't figure it out until it was much older but it was mainly because of my mom's breast cancer and how she lost all the weight from chemotherapy.
But I can say this. I loved every minute I got with my grandparents. I wasn't lucky enough to live close by so when I got to spend time with them I did. I loved every minute fishing, hunting, walking, road trips and everything else I did with them. My childhood memories and imagination wouldn't be as grand if it wasn't for the wondrous place that was their house. They had the scary basement that was damp and creepy, the narrow stairs, the water that smelled like eggs. Every thing grandparents had, they did.
Now that my grandparents are much older, I realize how much of an influence they were on me. I hope that I can distill that into my kids. I hope that I can watch Avery imagine the world like I did. I hope I can help explore the world through her eyes and remember what it is like. I hope that Avery can remember her great grandparents and how sweet they all are.
I can never thank my Pap and Grandma for all that they did but I can show my kids how they influenced me.
I sometimes wish I could rewind to when I was a kid so I can spend one more week with them during the summer. But that is not realistic. The reality is my grandparents are in their 80s and I live far away. Every second I get with them now is a precious moment in time. I can't grasp on to those seconds long enough but they are there in my thoughts every second. I know having Avery and Tim there for four days probably motivated them to keep fighting. That is all I want. I hope my kids get to see my grandparents one more time.
Not every kid had grand parents as amazing as mine and not many kids have great grand parents as amazing as Tim and Avery have. I am just lucky to have them.