Every once and a while I get to tell someone something about my grandmother. Almost always, the immediate response is: ‘Your grandmother?! How great for you!’
For a very long time I couldn’t understand what the big deal was. My grandmother. Why, isn’t it obvious? Doesn’t everyone have such a grandmother, to debate politics with, to consult with on education, and to here from the entire history of the State of Israel, and some good years before, and to go on field trips with? Such a grandmother, whom your kids run up to hug, and a moment later run around with in the yard?
It’s obvious, isn’t it?
Oh, what a horrible word. What horrible reputation it gained as the eternal cliché for couples breaking up.
But, grandma, only when I realized that I see you as obvious, was I able to understand how significant you are to me.
Only when I realized just how much of an inseparable part of my life you were – of my childhood, through my adolescence and young adulthood, and up to being a professional and an aspiring father myself, you were always there. Whether it was a hot meal for lunch or an audiotape with stories sent from overseas, a frustrating political conversation (since you wouldn’t agree with me) or playing with my own children, you are always there.
My dearest grandma. I am finding out, more and more, that when I think of the world in which I wish to live, of the society in which I wish to raise my children, that image is painted with the colors of your stories, experiences I had with you, values you instilled in me without my even knowing.
All of these things, and much much more, I should have told you long ago, had I only known how. Lucky for us there are birthdays. An excellent opportunity to thank you for all that you are for me, for us, for our children. Thank you for being an obvious part of my life.
All I can ask for, now, is that we have many more beautiful moments together, and to hope that we shall know how to repay you and to provide you with satisfaction and content.