What I Would Have Done

When we were young we often visited my mother’s home country and we would always see her father. Her mother passed when she was eight. I was so young then, with the mind of a child, pure, innocent and untouched by reality. I don’t think I really understood the concept of ‘love’, as the traditionalist would describe it, but I always expressed it unpressured and protected from the onset of adulthood; expectation, conflict and insincerity.

My grandad was a truly good man. I would love hanging out with him. Nothing was more important. I remember watching television one afternoon when we were visiting and he was outside gardening wearing his beret. I remember him always buying my favorite cookies before I’d woken up in the mornings. I remember feeling extremely sad when we had to leave, or when he was visiting our home and the time came for him to leave. I would cry sometimes. It was hard to say goodbye.

Kids soon become adolescents, consumed with a whole new collection of trivialities, a new set of priorities intrude into their minds and consequences become little nothings. Some kids learn to guide themselves, some of us, not so much.

From time to time now, I visit my grandad’s grave and give unrequited apologies to a piece of stone – forever an unforgiving experience. In 2009 when he was visiting me in college with my family, my mother asked me whether I wanted to join dinner before my grandad left for the airport but decided that I had something better to do. It just happens, that I never saw him again.

We can’t be kids forever. I try not to lose sight of what is important to me now.