Fifteen years. 15 years.
Fifteen years ago this week was the last time I saw Maman, my paternal grandmother, my last living grandparent. Fifteen years ago this week, I left for the Gambia, knowing that she wouldn’t be on this earthly plane by the time I returned. Even though I thought I was leaving for two years and really only left for three months, she was too ill to survive even the shortened time frame.
I am tremendously thankful for her role in my life – letting me sleep close to her at night, watching her pray, eating her delicious food, learning to knit (Continental style!)….
I appreciate her kindness toward my friends, making the effort to make them feel welcome and to say their names, even with not speaking much English. Looking back, I suspect she found it odd that my best friend when I was 17 was a guy, who shaved the sides of his head and had an air of danger about him. But she offered him tea just like everyone else.
For the first part of my life, my grandparents lived close enough that I saw them several times a month. As I got older, and they moved away, our time together was relegated to summer visits.
Now as an adult, I know that, no matter how ill my own parents might get and no matter how much MrMan might complain about the hardships associated with such, any length of time he has with them will enhance his life, and hopefully be something he appreciates.