The Stranger in the Room

There I stood at the desk, asking the man who may have seem a stranger to me, about wrist braces. An awkward moment, frozen to my memory bank – painful and cold.

Walking into the business premises of my son’s paternal grandfather, my son by my side, unaware of the paternal lineage. He greeted and replied “no” with a smile when complimented on his rockstar hair and the question of whether he plays any instruments.

There he sat next to me while his grandfather fitted my wrist brace for me. A few minutes later he stood next to me as he listened to the man standing on the other side of the counter as he shared 3 tips that he wished someone shared with him when he was a child.

“One, get straight A’s. Two, learn to play an instrument and three, think for yourself.”

My son listened with a smile, oblivious. I replied, “he already thinks for himself and loves jump biking”, thinking to myself how very different our worlds are and how thankful I am, a single parent, raising him without the pressures of wanting to rewrite my own childhood through that of my child’s . . .

We left hand-in-hand as I closed the security gate and said goodbye to the stranger in the room.  A very short, yet immensely impactful experience as I turned to my son and said. “That man is X’s father, your grandfather.”

He looked at me with a hollowness in his eyes as I felt the sadness of what I’ve just shared with him spread through him . . . And the memory of losing the only man he’s ever known as his grandfather, my dad – his world.

*This post was reviewed by my son and published with his permission.

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