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By:  Darlene Zagata






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Losing A Grandparent


 I lost my husband this past week and that made me realize that my two-year-old granddaughter and six-month old grandson probably won't remember their grandfather. I was looking at some family photos on the computer and my granddaughter immediately pointed and said, "My pappy." Her mother said that she thinks the child will remember as long as we continue to show her pictures. But since my grandson was only six-months old, he'll never know his grandfather. Even though they're very young, it seems that they sense something is different. You never realize how precious someone is until they are gone. My granddaughter was closer to my husband than she was to me.

Every time she would come to visit she would run in the house saying
"Pappy." Now when she comes over, I expect to hear those words. She hasn't questioned where he is and I've made no attempt to discuss it with her at this point. I know that she is too young to understand and even if she were older, I don't know if I would be able to talk to her about it yet. As they get older, hopefully, we will be able to keep his memory alive for them
through photos and stories. It just bothers me that he will miss so many
first moments with both our younger children and the grandchildren. He will
miss our grandson's first Christmas.

It is difficult to remain strong for the young ones, though you know you must. This experience has been a sad reminder that each and every moment is precious, and we must make the most of the time we have been given. We waste so many moments without realizing how special they are. Our children grow before we know it, then our grandchildren are sprouting up like wildflowers in the garden of life. Daily responsibilities consume us with a vengeance, causing us to sometimes forget to slow down and enjoy what we have before us.

Since this personal tragedy has occurred, I have been surrounded by my family, and we have talked over old times, looked at photographs, remembered the bad times, and laughed at the good. There are things we should have done differently, and things we wish we had said. We can't go back and change anything because we must continue to move forward, but we can learn from our mistakes, and take the time to cherish every moment. Children see things in such a pure and wondrous way, that they can be our teachers as much as our students. The next time you are with your grandchildren, try seeing things through their eyes. Let them take you by the hand and lead you through the world they live in. It will be a wonderful adventure and a sweet reminder to cherish those fleeting moments.

Although my husband and I never had much time to ourselves, we always had plenty of family moments. Since I already had two children when we married, our quiet time was very limited, but our family life was full. We enjoyed baseball games, dance recitals, birthdays, and Christmas mornings, as all families do. These are the memories that will sustain me. After all, these are the moments that comprise the changing phases of life. May your special moments be filled with childlike wonder.


~ In Loving Memory of Mr. Zagata 2002. You will always be in our hearts!





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