My grandfather did not have a lot of possessions when I came to live with him as a teen, but he had a clean home and a lot of love. He was living on disability pay, so he didn’t have a big budget. Even so, he took me in when I could not longer stay with my mom, and he shared what he had with me. I was thinking about this recently when I was at a business that sell Jewish gravestones in NJ and I trying to pick out the right one for him. As I thumbed through the design book that an employee placed in front of me, loving memories of my life with my grandpa kept flashing at me.
My dad was never in my life and did not even know that he had a son. Mom met him one night at a club, and she never saw him again. She only knew that his name was “Hank.” She said that she has always felt foolish that she never asked him for his last name after she realized that she was going to have his baby. She even went back to that club a few times to ask people there if they knew who he was. Some people remembered seeing him, but no one knew his first name, much less his last name.
At some point, my mom became very depressed. She was unable to care for me full time, so that is when she sent me to live with my grandfather. Mom would never abandon me, but she also knew that she couldn’t give me the best care possible while she was so depressed. She visited us often, and she was still my mom even though she didn’t live with us full time. I appreciate the fact that she cared enough to keep me safe with one my granddad.