An Open Letter to my Grandfather up in Heaven

To my Pop:

This past Friday was your 76th birthday. I know you’ll be looking down on us, having a beer with your sister and your brothers, reflecting on the good times and sending positive vibes to us from above. Don’t worry; I’ll be having a beer with you too, just down here, celebrating the life that you were given, even though it was taken too quickly.

Physically, you’ve missed out on so many things. My graduations from elementary, middle and high school. Meeting the significant others I brought home to meet the family. Meeting the love of my life that I now bring home. Not to mention having my first legal drink with me on my 21st birthday this past year. Physically, you are not there. Spiritually, you are alive and well through all of us. Through my grandmother, your other half, who represents so much of who you are, including the consistent love you have for your family. Through your daughters, who never cease to amaze me in the way they embrace your lifestyle and follow in the footsteps you left for them. And through me and my sister, your granddaughters, who are they women we are today because of the way you helped raise us.

Speaking of your wife and children, I want you to know that I’m looking after them. Granny misses you unlike anyone else. Your relationship was and still is beautiful; thank you for showing me what true love looks like. Mom and Aunt Nini are doing well too; they put on a tough exterior for the me and the rest of the family, but the way they miss you is indescribable. Since I only knew you for such a short time, I love learning more about you through them, and they all do a great job of making sure to mention. We share stories of you and Granny getting together and of the childhood you provided for your kids. We look at pictures of you all the way from your childhood to your last healthy years. I have one of your wedding photos hanging in my room; Granny looked stunning and you were so handsome. You guys looked so genuinely happy and made a beautiful couple. We have the best of times when we talk about you.

This October will be12 years since you left us. I was only 9 when God took you home, and everyday I wish I was given more time with you. I guess it makes sense why they say that the good die young. You’ve protected me throughout my entire life; through my car accident where I almost died. Through every complicated relationship. Through every bad decision I almost made. And I know that you’ll be there for everything that’s awaiting me in the future. You are my guardian angel, and a pretty darn good one at that. It took me a while to realize that you’re still here. For the longest time I would say: “I wish he could see me now. I wish I knew if he would be proud of me.” Now I know that you’ve been watching over me all along.

A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think of you. I know that you’re in a better place now, but I’d give anything for just one more day with you. One more minute. Even just one more hug. Saying goodbye is never easy, especially not when it’s someone you care about so much. But as my mom told me, we are better to have had you in our lives for a short time than not at all.

Love Always,

            Your Granddaughter