A Letter to My Grampas
August 1st, 2013
Grampa number one. All I know about you is your name and that you were my Dad's Dad. Your name, Frank, is probably some Americanized version of Francesco. Your name is the only thing that my Dad knows about you because you chose to leave his Mom when you found out she was pregnant. Or maybe she never told you at all. Or maybe, or maybe, or maybe. There are too many “or maybe's”, but one thing's for sure. You did end up leaving for reasons my Dad will never know; for reasons I'll never know.
But oh my God do I want to know. I want to know everything about you, the good and the bad. Because it'll give me insight on who I am as a person. I want to know who your parents are; I want to know what you were like as a child; as a teen, I want to know why you did end up leaving my Dad's Mom. But most of all I want to know if you would've loved me had you stayed. I know it's foolish, but I will always wonder that. Did you have other children? Did you stay in their lives? For all I know I could have relatives out there stemming from your other offspring. And I don't even know if you're alive, or if you're dead.
All my life I've always had the feeling of someone watching me, following me, and when I turn to look, no one is there. It happens more than I'd like it to, and sometimes it's kind of freaky. But what if it's you Mr. Frank? Checking and looking in on your long- lost granddaughter. Maybe I'm just blowing smoke here, but I really would've liked to have you in my life, in my Dad's life. I would've liked to have met you. Because I don't want just a name anymore.
Grampa number two. You're my Mom's Dad. I know more about you than Frank, that's for sure. I know that your name is Marvin, but you went by Marv. I know that you played the saxophone in high school and a few years beyond that. I know that you did something in the war, but I'm not sure what. I know that you smoked and drank. I don't like that but I guess that was a norm back then.
All my “memories” of you are pictures. And guess what? Your only granddaughter caught the photography bug too. Except my camera is digital. And guess what else? I wear your dog tag. Not all the time, but I do wear it. Makes me feel connected to you. I know there should be a second one, but I honestly have no idea what happened to it.
I always ask my Mom if you would've liked me had you lived to see me grow up. She says yes all the time but sometimes it's hard to believe her. Whenever I hear my friends talk about their Grampa's, my face twitches and I know I'll have to rattle off some long explanation when all I really want to do is say “yes”.
It’s true that I know a lot about you, but there really is a lot more that I don’t. Like how you were as a kid growing up. Or who your ancestors are. I must admit. I really wish you hadn’t died. I remember as a little girl crying because I didn’t have any Grampas. Well. Not live ones anyway. I still think of you and get teary eyed every once in awhile. But maybe that isn’t such a bad thing. It means that I think about you even though I don’t know you at all. It means that I have emotions t towards you. Any other kid would shrug in indifference. But not me. I’m different like that.
So in closing this, there’s something I’d really like to say. My name is Faith and I’m your granddaughter. I’m very pleased to meet you both.