One Year Later…

I have been dreading this day. Dreading this journal entry. For one entire year, I have thought about this moment. Cried about this moment. Dreaded this moment.

One year ago, I was helplessly watching my grandpa die. June 13 of last year, he was in a serious motor vehicle accident that left him badly broken. June 20 of last year, we took him off life support and watched the man we all loved and adored, slip away from us. June 21 of last year, after fighting strong for 17 hours, my grandpa breathed his last breath at 10:01 AM.

It seems like it was just yesterday. I’m back in the corner ICU room overlooking the church with the pretty cross on top. I’m holding his hand and stroking his face. I’m cracking jokes to hide the pain inside. I’m breaking down when I see my dad cry. I cannot believe that it has been one year already. So many years still to go until we are reunited.

At the same time, it feels like an eternity. It seems forever ago that I was getting the call that changed my entire life. It seems like forever ago that I held his hand and sang to him. It seems like forever ago when I saw him for the last time.

I find myself thinking of him everyday. My thoughts of him cannot escape my mind. I never want them to escape. I never want to forget my grandpa. What he looked like. What he sounded like. His laugh, his chuckle, the raspy-ness of his voice. I never want to forget what his hugs feel like. Or his kisses, even if he had popcorn stuck to his lips. I never want to forget the unconditional love he had for me. For my sisters, cousins, and for his children.

I cannot believe this day is upon us. Today for most people is but another day. A day that comes and a day that goes. Nothing special. Today is a day and the past few days are days I will never forget. I will never forget the last images I have stuck in my head. I’ve never watched anyone die before. I’ve never seen anyone take their last breath. I’ve never heard the shrill cries I heard from my mother and aunt. I’ve never heard a man sob the way my cousin did when he received the phone call that changed his life.

There are so many things I still wanted to do. So many things I wanted to say and to ask. Grandpa, I loved you so much and you were truly the best grandpa to us. You loved each and every one of us and always did everything you could to make sure we were taken care of. Thank you for picking us up every Saturday morning and taking us to the tractor museum. Thank you for letting us go crazy and play in your house. Thank you for having goodies, especially your iced oatmeal cookies, in your house. Thank you for hiring Santa Claus each Christmas when we were little. But especially grandpa, thank you for your love. You taught me what it means to love someone completely, 100% unconditionally. I am so proud of the man you were and respect what it took to get there. You have left me, you have left us a legacy that must be carried forever. I carry you in my heart. I carry you in my thoughts. I carry you in my love.

You will not see me,

so you must have faith.

I wait for the time when

we can soar together again,

both aware of each other.

Until then, live your life to

its fullest and when you need me,

just whisper my name in your heart,

I will be there.

Grandpa, I need you. We need you.

Until we meet again. Always in my heart. Love you more than anything.

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