I think of all they went through and all they accomplished, all the people they had in their lives, and here they were interested in a chat with me, a regular old 10-year-old kid, over a stack of oreos and a glass of milk. That's why I loved our weekly rituals so much; to them, I was worthy of stopping the day for their full attention. They helped me learn how to make people feel important.
I think of being friendly to everyone because it's the right thing to do, and taking the higher road even if others choose to dwell in mires of gossip and judgment. I think of correspondence and encouragement, support and involvement. I think of musical talent, appreciation of nature, time spent in the workshop, and praying in German before lots and lots of meals spent together. I think of interest in other cultures, languages, and just a pure love of people. I think about a love of learning that never stops for an entire long lifetime.
I think about positivity and gumption and constant joking around. I think about that unending energy paired along with a slant towards understanding sadness and loss, too. My grandparents taught me that it's okay to have both sides of that coin very much alive in your life. I learned that it's okay to be a walking contradiction sometimes in that way. They were the first to teach me the lesson that as a follower of God you don't need to have it all together. They taught me one of my favorite truths in my life: that it's okay to not be okay. You don't need to be flawless on your own. God's grace is enough for it all.
I am such a blessed person, to have these themes as a part of the legacy I inherit. I consider myself to be so rich in all the best things: people, heritage, and faith. This is what I owe to my Grandpa and Grandma.
I don't know what heaven will really be like, but one of the cheesy things that I like to imagine is a kitchen table on linoleum flooring where my two grandparents are back at their rounds of scrabble, shared meals, and daily devotionals. When I'm extra cheesy, I like to imagine a spot saved for me with a stack of oreos and a glass of milk.
I don't know if God created heaven to be like that.
I do know this: If it isn't like what I imagine, He will have designed it to be something even