We stopped in to visit my Grandfather this morning with my sister and her two kids, Max and Tory. I feel so blessed to have had, and to still have, my grandparents so close to me in my life. I love that my kids know not only their grandparents, but also some of their great grandparents. My grandfather is not doing as well lately as he has in the past. He relies mostly on his wheelchair to get around, and some days he is more able to remember people than others. He seems somehow a little lost since my Grandmother died last year. He always loves to see the kids, though.
The kids enjoy the visits, especially when Grandpa is able to answer their questions, and ask them about what they have been doing. For my sister and I, the visits sometimes feel a little bitter sweet. We both remember visiting the farm where he lived and worked when we were kids- following Grandpa into the barn while he did the chores, walking to the stream with Aunts Marjorie and Susie, taking Freshie out to the workers in the fields, braving the cold cellar with Grandma to pick out treats. Today Grandpa didn't remember much of that. What he seemed to be feeling, though, was a sense of caring or responsibility for us. He wanted to know if we were married, and what our husbands did for a living. He asked if we owned our homes, and if we had gardens. He seemed to be making sure we were taken care of. I guess there are a lot of different ways to say 'I love you'.
If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.
-Tich Nhat Hanh