I never had the opportunity to meet any of my grandparents. On my mom’s side, they were both deceased before I was born, with my mom’s mother dying exactly two months before I was born.
On Dad’s side of the family, his father and mother died within months of each other, so my first year on earth was definitely a mixture of happiness and grief for my father.
Dad worshipped his mother but was tight-lipped about his father. I think they had a distant relationship at best. Maybe that’s why it became tougher for Dad to know how to be a father as I graduated out of the baby/little girl stage and grew up. I don’t think his own father was around that much when he was growing up, so he was heavily influenced by his mother and sisters.
I came across this prayer card recently, with one of the only photos I’ve ever seen of my grandfather. I wish I knew more about him, and had learned more about his own background and any family stories that he was a part of. But instead, all I have is the image of a smiling man, who apparently did not make Dad smile the few times I remember him talking about his father. Those dark secrets, those troubled times remain locked behind that smile.