Learning To Love You More




Assignment #52
Write the phone call you wish you could have.

Brittany Shoot
Boston, Massachusetts USA



Grandpa: Hello Sweetie.
Me: Grandpa?? How is this happening?
Grandpa: He makes things possible up here.
Me: {laughs} Good, at least you're where I think you are.
Grandpa: {chuckles} I sure am. Sweetie, I needed to call and talk to you because I've been watching you and your struggles have really been weighing on me lately. It's difficult to watch your grandma in such bad shape, and I'm worried about you too. But for different reasons, though.
Me: {choking up and starting to cry} It's been horrible, Grandpa. {pause, unable to speak}
Grandpa: I know, Sweetie. That's why I called you. I wanted you to know that I'm very proud of you for being where you are. I know a lot of people don't understand why you're in graduate school, but I do and I'm so happy that you're following in my footsteps.
Me: That's the thing, Grandpa. It's horrible because you're really the only one who would have understood. I mean really understood.
Grandpa: But I do. I can still can, and you know that I do.
Me: I know, but not having you here is tough. Especially because Gram is in such bad shape. It makes it even worse because she isn't you. She doesn't get it. Grandpa, she doesn't even know where I live!
Grandpa: Sweetie, that isn't her fault.
Me: I know. You always defended her.
Grandpa: She was a good wife and a good mother. She's been a good grandma to you.
Me: But she wasn't nice to you. She talks about you now like you were a saint, but when you were alive I'm not sure that I ever saw her be genuinely nice to you.
Grandpa: She misses me in her own way. She'll join me eventually, and that will be easier for you in some ways. I've been watching—I know it's hard on the family.
Me: She doesn't remember anything.
Grandpa: I know.
Me: Grandpa, while I've got you on the phone, I have to try to tell you what it means to me...what you left for me. I found out recently—you probably saw that meeting.
Grandpa: I see a lot. And you don't have to thank me. I'm just so proud that you're able to use it! You're having a hard time right now, and you deserve to be able to relax and take care of yourself. You're a hard worker, and I've always known you would do great things. You worry so much about people not telling you that and you doubt yourself, but you don't need to. You just need to work on being happy right now. If what I did was able to help you, I'm glad.
Me: {crying} I just don't know how to get it together. When I left that meeting, I cried all the way home because I missed you so much. I mean, you understand how important this is to me right now, and I just wish you were around so I could call you and you'd tell me that you understand, that I'll be ok, that you're proud of me, and you could even help me with a project I'm working on! Can you read minds?
Grandpa: {chuckles} No, I can't.
Me: Ok, then you don't know about my project in full detail yet. But did you see me in class that first week? When I presented that loose proposal?
Grandpa: Some of my friends were also watching with me that day. You remember Gene Kilmer? Your Uncle Bob is up here too, you know. Everyone is very excited.
Me: {shocked pause} Wow... So you know what I'm thinking about doing.
Grandpa: I couldn't be more excited for you. And I wish I could help you, but you're an industrious young woman. You will find many people to help you. Ask your other grandpa, too. He's so excited to help you any way he can.
Me: I know, he's been great lately. I'm working on finding a way to tell him because I don't feel like I ever told you how much you helped and inspired me. I wish I hadn't been so young when you died.
Grandpa: You weren't that young!
Me: But we would have been able to share more if you'd been around for a few more years. I would have known you better. Maybe I would have heard your stories from you instead of from others, about how liberal you were, the pranks you pulled, the wealth of knowledge you were too humble to share. Grandpa, I'm proud of my last name because it was yours! And to know that you believed in me so much, and to know that you aren't here to encourage me now...{breaks off for a moment, crying} I just miss not knowing you and not having your support.
Grandpa: But you still do. I'm still watching, and I know that you're going to be ok. You are. I promise.
Me: I wish I hadn't inherited your migraines.
Grandpa: I know. I'm sorry about that. I'm glad you have better medicine than we did in the ‘40's. But don't be afraid to look at natural remedies, too.
Me: {laughs} I know. Do you remember how you always used to clap when I played the piano at your house?
Grandpa: Yes.
Me: I miss eating white rice with milk and sugar, and peaches with cream. And you used to bring me little containers of grapes while I was playing in my room. I loved that.
Grandpa: I did too.
Me: And when we went to the fair? I always felt bad about that tradition ending. I wasn't sure if you still wanted to go as I got older.
Grandpa: I didn't want to embarrass you.
Me: You never embarrassed me! Grandpa, you were the coolest. I worried about you when you got older and sat on the Deacon's bench for hours.
Grandpa: I know, but I was ok. I went out peacefully. I lived a very full life. I want the same for you. {pause} I'll give you a call again in the future when you need me.
Me: I always need you, Grandpa. I miss you.
Grandpa: I miss you, too. Help your dad take care of Grandma until she can come to be with me.
Me: I will. I'll do my best. I'm so glad you called, Grandpa. I'll make you proud.
Grandpa: You already do, Sweetie. You are the best grandchild I could ever hope to have. I love you very much.
Me: {crying} I love you, too, Grandpa. Thank you for watching over me.
Grandpa: You're welcome. You're going to make it. You make good choices, and you're going to be a huge success. I'm glad I was able to help.
Me: I love you, Grandpa.
Grandpa: I love you, Sweetie. Goodbye.
Me: {still crying} Bye, Grandpa.