Despite being braced for the news, hearing that my grandfather passed away yesterday isn’t easy. I want to be with my family right now to both grieve and celebrate his life. I’m so grateful that I have incredible new friends here in Botswana who offered their support to me (we are in week 3 now), though I often like to deal with my emotions on my own.

I was asked today if I was close to my grandpa, and I wasn’t exactly sure how to answer. You have to understand that my immediate family in Michigan is small, consisting of fewer than 10 people at our usual get-togethers. I think this has made us all close-knit, and I have great memories with those people at holidays and weekly dinners when we were younger. When I think back to the time I shared with my grandpa, I’m quickly drawn to my earliest moments of consciousness and photographs prior to them. I have images of us playing with my toys or finding seashells together at Huntington Beach where we all lived together. I couldn’t have asked for more love from him. He had his own ways of showing it, but it came without condition – he was the rock of the Hardy family. He is loved and dearly missed.

Most recently health became the factor as he fought Parkinson’s disease. Times of hardship are sometimes the best displays of the deep love that can course through a family. The empty chair at the card table will be a reminder to me of that love. Please keep the members of my family in your thoughts; they are all in mine.

4 thoughts on “Memories

  1. Aunt Sherry says:

    Your gifts and talents are so evident in your posts. You eulogized your grandfather with such grace and dignity.
    Thank you!
    Aunt Sherry

  2. Kristen says:

    I know that this is really tough news, but you will be able to make it through with the support of your new friends in Botswana.

    I was actually in a similar situation when my parents told me they were getting a divorce right before I left for tour (with the Glassmen Drum & Bugle Corps) during the summer of 2007. I almost didn’t go because part of me felt like I needed to stay home and be there for my family (namely my two younger sisters). I chose to stay with the drum corps because family members never want you to give up your own adventure. I’m glad I stuck with what I was doing, and I’m sure you will be, too.

  3. Babeh,

    What a tough thing to experience being so far away. I’m so glad you have love around you to help you grieve and get through this time. My grampy passed from Parkinson’s during my freshman year of college and all I can think about it how hard they’re working on finding a cure for it. Then, I think about where you are and what you’re doing in Botswana for AIDS and how you’re just going to be one of those major contributors to saving lives in the future. Your grandpa is in a better place free from suffering and I wish very much that I could squeeeze you so hard right now. Thinking of Lori, Bob, Jamie, Ashley and the rest of the Hardy family right now and you’re always on my mind, day in and day out. Continue to do what you do and update us on your beautiful experiences. I love you so much and can’t wait to hear from you again. Xx.


  4. shari says:

    My grandmother that I was very close to died on the other side of the country when I was in college. It was hard and many years later I still miss her daily and think of her stories, hugs, & smiles. I know that the best way to honor her is to continue to remember all that made her so special and talk with other family members and my children about her to keep her memory alive. I’m sure you will continue to honor your grandfather’s memory with love. My prayers are with you…..

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