It’s me, your youngest granddaughter. Today is your 91st birthday, as well as the ten year-one week anniversary of you leaving us for a better place. How’s it been up there? I’m sure you’ve been drinking all the coffee, petting all the kitties, and painting all the mountainscapes you could ever want in these past ten years. We all miss you a lot.
Things have been going okay for all of us down here, and even though I’m sure you’ve watched it all proudly, I’ll still let you know. I graduated college! And with a history degree, just like you had suggested. The little girl who always asked you questions about life when you were growing up grew up to collect her diploma in her favorite field. I wish you could have been there to watch because I know you would have been so proud. Mom is about to finish teaching! She’s so excited for retirement. And you know how you were so tired of Caroline and me always bickering when we were kids? Good news, we’re best friends now! It took a while, but it finally happened! All the other grown-up grandkids are doing well too! Love, marriage, babies.. You’d be beside yourself with the growing number of great-grandkids in the house! Clyde has his middle name after you, isn’t that amazing? It’s such a sweet sight to see all my cousins live amazing lives they wished and worked so hard for. I’m sure you’re all so proud of us.
I miss you every single day. We all do. I couldn’t wait to turn 21 so I could sit down and have a screwdriver with you and talk with you about your life with my newfound knowledge of history that I gained in college. (Oh by the way, a screwdriver was my very first alcoholic drink when I eventually did turn 21, just thought you’d be happy to know that) I was such a mess for the first month or two after you passed, having to leave class crying just about every single day. It got easier eventually. I still have my moments when I really wish you were here to offer some guidance because you were an amazing mentor to Mom, but in that capacity, she has become my amazing mentor following in your footsteps. You did a great job. Whenever I hang your paintings in my room or my house, people ask about it and it gives me a great opportunity to gush about you. I STILL run into people to this day who love to tell me the wonderful legacy you left behind. It makes me super proud to be your granddaughter. If I ever have kids and they have kids, I can only hope to set even HALF the example you did.
It’s pretty hard to believe it’s been ten years. It feels like yesterday when I got that early morning call from Caroline that it was almost time to say goodbye. I still remember that day vividly. I also remember going back to school once Spring Break was over and everyone from school who knew the family offering their condolences. I know you never wanted any of us to feel sad that you weren’t suffering anymore, but there will always be that part of me that wonders if there was more that could have been done. And I know you wouldn’t want me thinking like this. So after this, I will stop, just for you.
Anyway, Grandaddy, I hope you have a wonderful 91st birthday up there and we’ll just keep on keepin’ on down here, just as you would have wanted.
All my love,
Catherine (aka “Little One”)
I’m not going to lie, a couple (okay, a lot) of tears were shed writing this blog post. I was for sure a grandaddy’s girl, and it was pretty devastating losing him. As time has passed, it’s gotten easier, but you never truly get over losing a loved one. For those of you dealing with loss or who have dealt with loss, I understand that it’s a tough thing. The important thing is that it’s okay to feel the way you feel. Whether it’s the next day, the next week, or ten years later. It’s all perfectly justified. And if anyone needs someone to talk to, I’m always here!