To say that the relationship I currently have with my step-grandfather is distant would be an understatement. It hasn’t always been this way, though. He married my grandmother when I was around 2 or 3 and he was the only grandpa I ever knew on my father’s side; as my actual grandfather passed away six months before I was born. He did everything a grandpa should, and I knew he loved me. We went to church every Sunday (he’s a pastor), and he even let me color all the good pages in the coloring books (very important when you are 6). My cousin and I liked to spend the night with them on Saturday nights and stay up to watch Cops…it’s the little things. When my grandmother was sick, we spent every day together for the entire summer caring for her together. When my grandmother died seven years ago, however, he remarried a few months later and contact was essentially cut off. It has been a phone call here and there and a card at Christmas ever since. Really wanting to reconnect, I called him on my way home from work on Friday night. We talked for almost 6 minutes; which may seem short, but it is an eternity for him as he hates talking on the phone. I’ll never forget the last thing he said to me before we hung up, “Stay Healthy”. My grandpa doesn’t know about my ED, self-harming, anxiety, depression, OCD…none of it. But, he knew exactly what I needed to hear at that moment in time. We may be distant, but I know he still loves me and continues to care for me as if there’s never a gap in our communication. I cried for a good 10 minutes in the car after that conversation and I can only guess how odd that appeared to passing motorist. But, at that moment, I realized, my grandpa is right, even if he doesn’t know what’s wrong with me. I need to stay healthy.
Advice from Grandpa August 20, 2012