Thanksgiving Without Grandpa

Krista joins us for a special Thanksgiving post that serves as a wonderful reminder of what the holiday season is all about.

When you are a little girl, there are few men you look up to.

There are few men that steal your heart.

One of those men was my grandpa. He was the man who would hug me, kiss me on the cheek with a his face full of whiskers and always left scent of Top tobacco. He would give the best hugs and every time we parted he would say, "Love you Krista Rae."

Growing up we lived in the same house my mom lived in when she was a child. My grandpa built that home. I remember falling down the same stairs my mom and aunts did when they were children. As I grew up, I started to drive and received my first car. I loved passing him as we would drive by each other on our way to and from town. He lived next door in a home he built for my grandma. He would be in old beat up Ford Fiesta with the seat leaned back (it was broken). He was too cheap to fix it our by a different rig. When I went through a divorce, leaving me a single mom, he pulled me aside to tell me that no matter what happened he was there for me. He wouldn't let anything happen to me. After I got a part-time job at the local feed store to try to make ends meet, he would come in and every time he left he would tell me he loved me. Back rubs, you just will never find another living soul that could give a back rub like he did.

You know, when someone you love as much as I loved him gets sick, you worry. My biggest regret is thinking that he would just pull through, that maybe he was just working too much and not taking care of himself. But you can't take things like that for granted. You never know when someone is going to be called home.

The night my grandpa left us, I was so angry with myself. So angry that I didn't head to the hospital sooner, angry that I didn't spend more time with him and I was angry that he was gone. I was almost half way to the hospital when I got the call. Half way. I should have been there but I wasn't.

That week the Cordial Cherry display was set out. We spent our first ever Thanksgiving without him. Our entire family completely heart-broken. The week after the funeral service, I took a box of Cordial Cherries to lay on his grave. I made sure to eat one like I always did. I haven't been back to that place since, he is not there anyway. He is in heaven and one day we will meet again. Until that day, I will buy those cordial cherries, eat one and leave the rest to my family.

In the meantime, I will try to love Thanksgiving again. I will try to remember why I looked forward to it every year. I will try to stop avoiding family as they make the plans. I will try to move forward because my kids deserve to have happy memories with their grandpa just the way I did with mine.

So today, today I am letting go of the anger I have had of losing my grandpa. I will wipe away my tears when the first Cordial Cherry display comes out, I will smile when I drive up and down the mountain where we used to pass by each other and when I smell a hint of Top tobacco at the local feed store, I will try not to look around for him. He is not there. He is not here anymore.

I will remember the good times. I will remember that the last time I saw my grandpa, he gave me a hug, a whisker kiss on the cheek and he said. "I love you, Krista Rae."

The Farmer's Wifee

Krista, aka the Farmer's Wifee, is a small town girl that grew up in a logging community in Eastern Washington and married a first generation dairy farmer. Together, she and her farmer have three amazing children that they raise on their dairy farm of 150 jerseys, Holsteins and crosses. If you want to learn more about Krista, check out her blog or find her on Facebook!

related topics: thanksgiving, family business

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