Just before I’ll get on the plane today, Carolina will fill in for me one more time. Thank you, Caro!
Hello San’s lovely readers! San was gracious enough to let me guest post for her while she is away spending this valuable time with her family in Germany.
She asked if I could write something centered around family. I have to admit, I struggled with this at first. I even initially wrote a different post entirely because I wasn’t sure how to adequately express this beautiful story I have to share…
My father emigrated to the United States from El Salvador back in the 70’s. He ended up in Utah where he was to attend college. His English was still lacking and it was recommended he re-do the 12th grade. Somehow (by divine intervention, I think) during that senior year, he ended up living in the home of Grant and Val Clement.
These two sweet souls took in my father and adopted him, not only into their family, but lovingly into their hearts. They became “mom” and “dad” to him and he became no less than a son to them. From the moment we were born (me and my 2 brothers), they were our grandparents. I’ve only ever known Grant and Val as Grandpa and Grandma and they loved us with their whole hearts like real grandparents do!
Words aren’t enough to explain how it felt to walk into my granparents’ home and see our family pictures lovingly displayed, to eat my grandmother’s cooking and hear her amazing stories, to receive birthday cards EVERY SINGLE year without fail, and to be so very loved by two people who didn’t have to love us.
I was living in Northern California in August of 2008. That same month, I attended my brother’s wedding in Utah. My grandparents who also live in Utah (though old and weak) were able to attend his wedding and reception. As I said goodbye to them before they left the reception, I felt deeply impressed that it would truly be the last time I would ever see them. When I got home from my trip, I decided that it was time to be closer to my family and just like that, I packed up and moved to Utah.
My entire family spent Thanksgiving together at my grandparents house in Utah that year! It was to be the last time we would all be together. It was exactly what Thanksgiving is supposed to be, full of love and family! It couldn’t have been any better even if we had known it was to be our last!
My grandmother fell ill and passed away last February. I was able to visit her in the hospital, it was only 5 minutes from where I lived. During those visits, I had the chance to tell her how much her unwavering love meant to me. I had the chance to express my unconditional gratitude to her for loving me for my entire life, when she didn’t have to! I hugged her and kissed her for the very last time. I tried with everything I had to keep it together in that room, but as soon as I stepped outside the door to leave, I lost it! In that moment, crying alone in my car, I grieved her loss because I knew it would be the last time I would see her; she passed away 2 days later.
As we were all leaving her burial service and my father was saying goodbye to my grandpa (Grant, her husband), I heard my grandpa tell him, “Thank you! We couldn’t have ever loved you any more, even if you were our very own!” My eyes filled with tears at the sound of this sweet man, who had just lost his beloved sweetheart of 60 years, share his love and gratitude with my dad. When in reality, it’s through their humble gift of love that they taught us that family isn’t only born in the blood, but irrefutably, born in the heart as well!