My dad's parents have always been a huuuuge part of my life. My grandpa is the most amazing man, and my grandma is so kind and nurturing. We would spend summers at a lake with them in Wyoming (I know, total cliche 'summer house at the lake' country up there.) But it was my absolute favorite place on earth. My grandpa would get my brothers and me out on the lake at the butt crack of dawn when the water was still glassy, and pull us around and around on our water skis for as long as we wanted. He took us fishing, and would obligingly release the fish for me, because I couldn't bear to take their lives (I now realize that they probably died soon afterwards, anyway). He has the best sense of humor, and has played a huge role in creating fond memories of a wonderful childhood. (excuse the hallmarky nuance there).
Our last trip up to the lake was bittersweet. The whole area has changed beyond recognition, so I don't want to taint the memories of trips past, and yet, I wish I could give Aife those Seminoe summers. Our last evening there my grandpa and I planted a couple of chairs down by the water, set up the umbrella, and he opened the cooler, handed me a cold one, and we shared our first beer together. It was an awful Budweiser in a can, but that was the best damn beer I have ever had.
I am sad that Aife will not get to know them as I know them. They are really starting to show their age. They love her, and go crazy over her every time we visit, but I know she will not to get to have the same experiences with them. My parents are amazing, and will spoil her rotten. So, she won't be lacking in the g-parent department. It still breaks my heart, though, that she won't get to know my grandpa that well.
I remember my great grandparents, and I'm sure my dad felt the same way. They were already so old by the time we were old enough to really interact with people that weren't our parents. My memories of them consist of a lot of sitting in chairs, and zoning out. My great grandpa would just turn his hearing aid off, and sit there in silence. I bet they were fantastic people. We heard stories about them, but never really got to know them. I would give so much for Aife to have the opportunity to really get to know my dad's parents. At least they have gotten to meet her, and will watch her grow up. I'm so grateful I could give them that.