An open letter to my grandfather

Yesterday was 12 years since my grandfather stepped from this world into the next. Today is for him. 

HT,

hey sweetheart. It’s been 4384 days since you left this world. 4384 days since I hugged you. 4384 days since you made me giggle. 4384 since you patterned what a man of God looks like. I still dream about you from time to time, and I want to believe you’re actually visiting me in those dreams, but those dreams are way too long apart- so if you wanted to visit more often, i’d be perfectly fine with that.

You were one of my biggest loses, December 19 still makes me sad. You will always be one of my favorite people. I’m convinced to this day, no man will ever compare to you. Dad is awesome. Cam is awesome. But I love them in different ways than I loved you, it’s a different relationship. You were an awesome grandfather.

Some of my fondest memories of my childhood are with you. You could make me giggle like crazy, and you drove me crazy. You stole my stuffed animals and boxed them and sat on me until I moved out of your seat. You drug me out to the vegetable garden and let me run around in your sunhats. You treasured the veggietales painting I made you to hang in your hospital room at the end. You remembered the smallest details of various parts of my life- including the myriad of careees I vowed to pursue, none of which I actually pursued. You loved my Nanny like crazy, I have always envied yall’s relationship, and every man’s treatment of me will forever be measured by the way you treated her in the time I was privileged to watch you two together. You made me feel beyond valued, you made sure as the youngest who had nobody else my age that I was amused, even if that meant you being my friend for the day. You had the best taste in baseball teams and my allegiance will never change because I pull for your team (#bravesnation). If you changed your voice to discipline us, it was terrifying, mainly because I wanted your approval so badly.

I wonder all the time if I make you proud. Of course I want to make my parents proud, but I really hope that if you’re watching from heaven, and I hope you are, that you’re proud of the things I’m doing. You modeled what a Christian life looked like, you clung to your faith even as your time here ran out. I hope that I’m modeling that as well in my career and volunteerism. You never even had to speak the words, you just lived it, and I want to be like that.

You raised at least one awesome kid. I don’t know how your other kids parent, because I don’t live with them, but dang my dad is cool. I appreciate the skills you taught him and how great you allowed him to be. I hope that our bonding over sports makes you smile. And I have to believe you had some pull with God on him still being here and as healthy as he is, so thank you.

I think there’s definitely some things that you frown on. Mainly the beer in my hand as I type this, and I’m sorry, that is one thing I will disagree with you on. I feel like my depression and anxiety keep me from being all the things I want to be. Sometimes I don’t feel like the best teacher, yesterday included, for reasons we won’t verbalize. I’m definitely not the best daughter, I have a mouth that could use a filter. I don’t blindly trust god, I try to take things into my own hands. I complain about my chronic illnesses pretty much daily, and don’t trust they are for good purposes, I’m not nearly as good of a patient as you were. I just hope that you’re smiling on the things I do do well.

I hope that 60 years from now I’m cool of a grandparent as you were. I want to model a Christian attitude, teach my grandkids lessons, and make them giggle like they’re the happiest ever….and maybe have a really cool singing voice like you did 🐸.

So this is just me missing you. I’m sorry it was today before I made it by to visit. I’m sorry I didn’t stay long. I’m sorry I was semi embarrassed to talk out loud today. I hope you knew what I wanted to say. I hope you were standing there next to me. I hope you went and hugged the people there I asked you too, and just told them I loved them. I hope right now you and Nanny are worshipping together, hand in hand, with that handsome smile on your face. No matter what, you’re always right here in my heart. I love you with all of me, and I’m so proud to call you my pawpaw.

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