I wish I could have met you


Shelly Batterbee

A picture of both of my grandpas I never met

I wish I was older—not just a baby or a distant thought. I wish I was old enough for us to meet and for us to at least have made a few memories.

I wish I could have seen your bright smile, like the one in the picture with Santa;  I wish I could have felt one of your bear hugs and learned about all your favorite things.

Would you have shared your frozen Swiss cake rolls with me? Would you have approved of my push ups? Would you have read stories to me like Grandma did?

I wish we could have made memories to last a lifetime. I wish I could hear your laughter.

You could have seen all that I have accomplished and worked for. Would you be proud of me and your other grandchildren? You could share tips of military life with my cousin; you could share tips of life in general to us all.

We would have made sandwiches together—ones of weird concoctions—and laughed about how they tasted. I would have shared your dry humor that I have heard you had, since very few people can pinpoint my own humor.

I just wish I didn’t have to imagine.

I wish you could have shared your stories with me, just like how my grandmas do.

I wish I could have been to a Thanksgiving dinner and seen you around the table. I wish you could have heard me aggressively whisper, “Awkward silence,” as I have at almost every Thanksgiving when we first sit down with our plates.

I wish I could hear your perspective of how you gave my brother Mountain Dew, or how you snuck white cheddar Cheez-Its to my sister. I wish you had stories you could tell about me and the trouble we would get in.

Would I think you were a baby, too? When I was little, I thought only Grandma and I could have possibly been babies—everyone else was already grown up. Were you as competitive as Grandma is? I wish I could have seen a family game.

The stories I hear are great, and I’m glad I get to learn about you. I hear what you would have done with me, and the memories start to form like the activities really happened. But, I just wish I didn’t have to imagine.

I wish I could have met you.

But, I know I will someday, and you can tell me the stories and tell me how you watched over me. You can tell me secrets about my parents, and we can share laughs. We will joke, and I will finally hear your voice. I cannot wait.

But still, I wish I could have met you.