There are four of them, two from each side. They have lived through the worst century in human history, at least one world war, several wars in their home country. They were not ruined by the internet, social media, TVs and smartphones. Family was all that mattered to them, they were simple but not stupid, peaceful but not weak.
Today I have no more grandparents, and my last interaction with one was via Skype from abroad, a true example of how the world must have seemed so fucked up to them. I have always had some kind of a weakness towards grandpas, in the sense that one of my own died before I was born, and the other died when I was a year old. I pay special attention to other people’s grandpas, I watch them interact with them, I respect this aura that they have, the aura of wisdom and hardship. One of my grandpas was a professional chef for a renowned French school, which explains why my mother is such a good cook (don’t we all say that about our mothers, at least genetics back me up on this one). I knew nothing more about him, as if he only dedicated his life and service to that school. My other grandpa is talked about more often, he was fierce and raised eleven kids by starting a bakery that would be highly respected and needed during the civil war in the region. He was strict with his kids, as my dad tells me, which was not a good thing, but is understandable given that they lived in a war that spanned around twenty years. I lived most of my life with 2 grandmas, one living in the same neighborhood which I frequently saw, talked, joked and played cards with, and one which lived in a different part of town which I saw on family occasions, etc. One day, my grandma got sick, she was taken to the hospital and it wasn’t supposed to be something serious, but apparently something went wrong at the hospital and she passed away. I still see her playing cards and humming nonsensical songs (just any words turned into song) on the terrace outside my youngest uncle’s place where she lived. My other grandma was very sarcastic and funny, she used to send me bags with all kinds of chocolate and candy when I was a kid. A couple of months ago, I visited her before I went abroad again, and I knew it was the last time I’d see her. For the first time, I had time to prepare my goodbye to a Grand, so I sat a little closer and talked a little more, and I held her hand before I left.
Today the Grands are gone, the tree weeps but survives. As time slowly creeps in, we are reminded by death’s inevitability, but now They know the answers.