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Aug 9, 2012
12:11 PM

Mom's Great, Great Summer Memory of Grandpa and Son

Last year, it seemed like it might not happen. But a local mother saw her deepest wish come true when two special family members met each other.

Mom's Great, Great Summer Memory of Grandpa and Son

Around this time last summer, I was preparing for my grandfather to make the trip to Michigan from his home in Florida. It was going to be an extra-special visit, as I had not seen him in over two years, and he was going to meet my newborn son – his great-grandchild – for the first time.

Unfortunately, the day before his trip, a routine doctor's visit turned into our worst nightmare. At the age of 88, my grandfather would need open-heart surgery immediately. My mind went from excitement to complete despair, as I assumed the worst. My grandfather might not ever make it to Michigan, and I may never see him again. Fortunately, everyone in my family was confident that my grandfather was a fighter and would be OK. After all, he had a family history of longevity on his side. His own mother, despite a tough life in a poor, Italian village, lived to a ripe old age of 96.

To our credit, we were right – and, after a year of healing and building his strength back, my grandfather came to Michigan to visit my family and I a couple of weeks ago. My family and I laughed as my grandfather recounted his plane ride here, which was delayed by three hours due to a rainstorm. His plane, which was supposed to arrive at 11 p.m., did not land in Detroit until 2 a.m. To our surprise, it was not the late plane arrival that bothered him as much as it was the gassy toddler sitting in front of him! My grandfather continued to tell stories of how he remembered both my own mother and I when we were little, and then he looked at my son and smiled. "He definitely looks Italian," he said with a wink.

I knew I had made my grandfather proud. He wanted nothing more then to see that I was happy – and he did that day when he saw me hold my son. My aunt hosted a family celebration at her house a couple days after my grandfather's arrival. As I ran to grab my camera from my purse, I thought about how blessed I was. One of my biggest wishes had come true: My son, Troy, got to meet his great-grandfather. It's an experience that many never get to enjoy. While he is only 1, and could not truly appreciate it, I was honored to take a family photograph of my grandfather with him. Even more exciting was the fact that Troy was not the only great-grandchild, but one of seven great-grandkids that got to spend the day with my grandfather.

I will cherish this celebration forever, and look forward to the day when I can explain this memory to my son, as I pull out the photograph.

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