Today would have been my husband's grandfather's 102 birthday. (I think I got that right.) He passed away in April of 2012, but he is still missed, especially by my husband and mother-in-law.
My son remembers him, though not well. That makes sense, he was only 6 when he died, but he DOES have memories of him and that's what's so important. The fact that he was able to spend some time (although it may have been limited) with his Great Grandfather was such a blessing. They two of them made a great couple.
For the first few years of my son's life, Murray lived in Florida and we didn't see him that often. He flew up north shortly after our son was born. It was love and adoration at first sight. (How could it not be? Yes, I'm biased, buy my son was full of love and cuddles when he was younger. He still is full of love, but it is a teenage kind of love and those cuddles just aren't cool anymore.) But then he moved back north, to be closer to his family. My mother-in-law orchestrated it; something we all were grateful for.
He was able to attend my son's 5th birthday party, which was really the only "major" kiddie party my son had. He got to watch as the kids ran around the Little Gym. (Some of those friends will be graduating from high school with him this June.) He got to come back to our house and help my son open his presents.
We would regularly go out to Pennsylvania to visit him at the assisted living facility. He and my son would sit together. He got lots of hugs.
My mother-in-law arranged a birthday party for him when he turned 95. I remember it well because my husband had fallen earlier in the month, breaking his wrist AND his nose and in the photos you can see the facials scars. (They eventually did heal.) The party was held in one of the facility's rooms and she brought in delicious deli food that makes my mouth water just when I think of it. My son would draw pictures for his grandfather, presenting them with pride. (Or at least that's how I remember it.) Most importantly, my son helped blow out the candles on the cake (a large 9 and 5...not actually ninety-five candles).
Did Great Grandpa and my son have enough time together? No, but there could never be enough time. The time that they had, I know they both cherished. (Even if some of the memories have faded for my son.) We miss him because of the good times that we did have and we are thankful.