My daughter was scheduled to deliver her daughter on Jan. 9, her second child after a gap of 15 years.
She has been based in Frankfurt for nine years and I knew I wouldn’t be around to see my grandchild come into this world.
My fifth grandchild came two weeks early while the family was vacationing in Innsbruck, Austria. It was also the eve of my 70th birthday.
When I saw the photo of Katharina, I realized early enough she was the most perfect birthday gift I could expect. The Yule celebration (as usual) left me cold and I expected no gifts from anyone. I kept to myself all throughout the week and never bothered with preparing for the Noche Buena or a special New Year dinner.
But when I heard of the birth of the new member of the family, I knew I was given someone special before my birthday. And before the New Year.
As grandpas are wont to do, you ask for pictures every other day since you can’t fly from Pasig to Europe to cheer your new grandchild.
You are content looking at her picture and even talking to her when you wake up early in the morning. For the first time, you begin to take your daughter’s invitation seriously to come and visit her in Frankfurt.
But at your age now, you remain busy and you wonder if you can sacrifice a month’s income just to be with your loved ones in a foreign country. To be sure, it is the time when grandpas celebrate, when first child cheers a new sister and when other grandkids welcome a new cousin.
Still you catch yourself staring at your new grandchild with awe. Her new picture is in your study table and you make sure she is seen with all her cousins in separate frames.
It is one feeling you can’t explain. Her coming means another beautiful human being smiling at you, another kid you probably can pick up in school and another one you can bring to the ballet on weekends.
What is it about being a grandfather that keeps you happy and serenely content?
In your grandchildren’s faces, you see a future writer, a future teacher, a future economist and, who knows, a future performing artist.
A grandfather can only wish the best for his grandchildren as he enjoys what’s left of his time.
This is the phase of your life when you learn to say a little prayer—not for yourself, but for your little ones starting a new life far away from your abode.
True enough—as Billy Crystal would love to say over and over—every granddaughter’s birth makes you want to create things she will love.
Hopefully, I will still be around to watch “Hansel and Gretel” with her at the Frankfurt Opera. —CONTRIBUTED