Thankfully, you get to see him from time to time, though not as often as we would like. Obviously, you have had four great-grandfathers, and today I'd like to tell you a bit about my very special grandpa, Dédi.
When your dad and I met, one of the first things we bonded over was the special relationship we both have (and had) with our grandfathers. My grandfather, my mother's father, meant more to me than I can even express. He was so full of love for everyone, as I think you can see from this, one of my last pictures of us:
When I was only eight years old, my grandfather started to teach me to play violin. He was good--really good--and had played in orchestras, but one of his real interests was Hungarian folk music, so I learned a lot of folk tunes. If you listen to the fiddle parts (here played by the flute) in Hungarian folk tunes, you'll hear that they are fast-paced, require dexterity, and, most of all, just need a lot of heart:
Tonight, I had my first experience trying to play bluegrass fiddle. Although this is really different, connected to Appalachia and American mountain folk, it does have the fast-paced runs and, more importantly, that heart. I played tonight at Bluegrass and Burgers, an event hosted by the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul in Charleston (where we go), I felt that heart. I felt that I was playing songs about something I cared about, my faith, that I was connected to people from generations back and, even though the traditions differ, that I was connected to my grandfather, your Dédi.
I've told this story before, but the day that he passed away was the day I had my first ultrasound and realized I had a viable pregnancy (I had been bleeding pretty badly, so I wasn't sure). It was such a bittersweet day; I think your existence is the thing that honestly got me through the raw grief of losing someone so dear to me. I also have always felt that you are connected to your ancestors; it's otherwise too much of a coincidence that I took the pregnancy test on the anniversary of my father's death, and I had the ultrasound on the day Dédi died. You are proof that their spirit still lives.
And every time I play the violin, I feel that Dédi's spirit lives even more strongly. As I played fiddle, you danced and clapped. You listening to me play, and enjoying it, was like you listening to your Dédi. I know he looked down from heaven and smiled. All those years ago, when I barely squeaked out my first folk tune, he knew that he was giving me a great gift, and I now have the honor to give this gift, the gift of our heritage, of music, to you.