My maternal grandmother died three years ago. She was definitely the heart of our family and is desperately missed especially on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Since her death, my grandfather who is 90 years old and a master bridge player, has found a new lady friend. Her name is Bonnie and she too is a widower and an expert bridge player...they met at the club. They play cards together 2-3 times a week, share meals, grocery shop, and well, we're not sure what else.
Suffice it to say, the introduction of my grandfather's companion has been a bit of a transition. Her children all live in different states as do her grandchildren and so, she showed up yesterday to share a meal with our family.
I'll be the first to admit, it's not easy seeing a new face bring in a cake. Everyone was more than welcoming, but somewhere between eggnog and pie, you find yourself comparing the two...which is entirely unfair. How can anyone compete with grandma? The truth is, they can't and they shouldn't.
While nibbling turkey and mashed potatoes, I noticed a sparkle in my grandfather's eyes while Bonnie was relaying a story. For a brief moment, I thought, "no way." And then I realized, she brings him joy and companionship. She gives him time and kindness and according to other crude family members, maybe something else. That said, she is there for him. And well, that's more than many of us have time for in our crazy busy lives.
And so, while my aunt and I gave each other a quick glance, I realized, the times they are a changin'...and I can accept it or be bitter over something that makes no sense at all. Life is about love. Plain and simple. And, Thanksgiving is about gratitude. While no one will ever replace my beloved grandmother, I am thankful that Bonnie has put a smile on my grandfather's face.