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To the Grandparent That Left My Life Far Too Soon

*CUE WAKE ME UP WHEN SEPTEMBER ENDS BY GREEN DAY*

To the man that left my life far too soon. It has been 6 years to the day. As I get older, my memories are starting to fade. I try to cling to every last bit of memory that I have of you.

There are certain memories that have stuck well in my brain, and I probably will never forget them. I remember your smile and your laugh. I can still remember how your voice sounded. I never want to forget that. I catch myself playing your voice over and over again in my head so that I can ingrain it in my memory forever. I remember your love for the outdoors and watching you make the most beautiful bird houses. I remember the tray of mints you had next to your chair that I would always sneak each time I visited.

You were so young, and it caught all of us by surprise. You were supposed to grow old. You were not supposed to be taken away so soon. You were supposed to see me graduate college, get married to the most incredible man, be there when my kids were born.

When we got the news, my heart was broken. I don’t think I had experienced a pain to that level in my entire life. At first, I was in denial, numb to the fact that you would be leaving us very shortly. I thought we would have more time, we all did.

There are good days and there are bad days. I find myself getting upset every now and then when I see how close people are to their grandparents and that they get to see them all the time. I hope they realize how lucky they are and that they never take it for granted. I wish I could have seen you more so that I could have more memories to remember you by.

I know though that you are watching over me. That is where I find comfort in the loss. I know that one day I will get to see you again, and I can’t wait for that day. I hope I have made you proud. I hope that all that I have accomplished and will accomplish makes you smile. I hope that my kids get more time with their Grandpa than I did because the amount I got wasn’t enough.

I want to say thank you for raising your child to be the best parent because they will soon be the best grandparent. Just like you.

Loss has been a big part of my life the past few years. I have learned how to grieve and move on even though things are never quite the same. But when it happens to you again, the sense of familiarity returns. All the feelings you felt long ago come back. The pain that once ached inside of you, you remember all too well.

This pain was once again felt two short weeks ago when my husbands Grandmother passed away unexpectedly. Mary Ellen was the kind of woman that left a piece of herself with every person she came into contact with. Those who knew and loved her will forever remember her kindness, selflessness and the warmth of her smile and embrace. She treasured the time she spent with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. The was one of the most amazing women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and has made a long-lasting impact on my life. I feel so blessed to have been a part of her family for the last eight years and will forever treasure the memories we have.

A person is only given a few people in their lives that give them unconditional love that is difficult to describe. When someone you love becomes a memory… that memory then becomes a treasure. Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us everyday… unseen, unheard, but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear.

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