On this day, and so many more, I am left wishing that you were still here. It’s tough losing someone. It’s tougher losing someone who is your parent, safe place, and constant supporter. It’s hard watching girls turn into women, walking down the aisle with their fathers knowing that this is something I will never have. Sure, there are people who could do it but there is no one that could ever replace you and I don’t want anyone else there beside me.
It has been 17 years since you graced this earth and held my hand. Since you smiled, laughed, and held a conversation with anyone and everyone you passed by on the street. 17 years that I have gone without a father figure. I know that you are in a better place, that you are no longer suffering, but I am still left here wondering and questioning what my life would be like if you were still here.
I wonder if the choices that I have made since you left would make you proud. I wonder if you are looking down on me, watching my every move, walking this life with me. I wonder if you smile, laugh, and play cards with those up there with you. I wonder if there were lessons that you still had left to teach me. I wonder if you are the one that puts on the cards in my hand, allowing me to pick and choose which ones I play.
If you were here, I wouldn’t be missing you so much.
There are so many things that you have missed. You missed the mistakes that I made in high school, the things I know would have made you disappointed but also the things that made you understand that I am human and not perfect. You missed my prom and having that first father-daughter dance. You missed me graduating not only from high school but from university. You missed me moving away. You missed me buying a house. You will miss me getting married and having children. You will miss watching me grow older.
But I know that you have seen it all. I can still feel your eyes watching me, you hand on my shoulder. I know you will never leave me.
In the 10 years that I was able to share with you, you taught me so much. You taught me how to hit and throw a baseball. You taught me that above all else kindness is the greatest thing you can share with someone. You taught me to love and love fiercely. You taught me how to be strong, how to persevere through anything that puts me down. You taught me that it is okay to get your hands dirty, to have callused hands and scars – they give you stories to tell. You taught me that smiling, even when all you want to do is cry, will always help in some capacity – even if it is helping someone else. You taught me to always be the best that I could be.
So, thank you. Thank you for teaching me things that I know hold dear. Thank you for being the most remarkable man I have ever, and will ever meet. Thank you for allowing me to see what it really means to be a man. Thank you for showing me a love like no other.
I know that I am not always accepting of you being taken away from me. I know that I am still a little bit bitter about it. But I do my best to remember that you will always be in my heart, you will always be holding my hand.
It breaks me in two knowing all of the things that you have missed, and will miss later on. I don’t know how you feel about leaving me here, without you around. I think you would be just as upset.
I just wonder why you had to be taken away so soon.
I know that you were not young, that you were sick. I know that you had seen the best and worst of times. I know that your life, in its own way was complete. But I know that there was still so much more you could have done.
I know that I don’t talk about you as much as I used to. I know that I don’t sit alone and talk to you out loud. And I am sorry for that. But it is hard for me to admit that it’s hard for me to remember the sound of your voice, your laugh. It’s hard to remember how blue your eyes were and how they were always filled with so much love and understanding. It’s hard to bring out your shaving kit and allow your smell to fill the room. The scariest part of all of this is losing all of those memories that we shared. Losing sight of who you were – who you were to me. I know that I will never forget you, but memories fade with time and its tragic. I don’t mean to, I don’t want to forget them.
Grandpa, I miss you more than words will ever be able to comprehend. There are no words for the incredible human being that you were. There are no words for the love that you showed your girls, grandma, everyone. There are no words for the epitome of everything wholesome and great that you were.
Thank you for watching out for me, for guiding me down the right path. Please, pretty please, continue this.
Grandpa, I love you and miss you with every passing day.