Saturday is my Grandfather's remembrance service (memorial). Sitting here tonight I have so many mixed emotions and thoughts.
One part of me cannot wait to see my family again. I look forward to that part, per say.
Another part of me is dreading this. How I wish we could be getting together for something else other this.
This is it. This makes it final. There is something about this that brings closure and makes this all so real and final. I'm not sure any of us are really ready for that. How do we say goodbye to man who met so very much to all of us? How do we all come together again to say goodbye to yet another loved one? And of course this line of thought takes me to thinking of my Grandmother. She has been so brave. So strong. But Saturday will make it all final for her too. How do you say goodbye to your spouse of over 60 years, your best friend?
I thought I saw my grandfather at a birthday party not long ago. My first thoughts and instincts were get up and go sit with him. But then half way from rising from my seat, I reality hit me. I felt so foolish. It was all I could do not to sit there and cry. There is somewhat of a hole in our lives that he left when he died. I say "somewhat" because in a way he is still here. His love carries on in each of us, in each of our memories. We are still left those, those and the lessons he taught us.
He taught us that family comes first. It is the most important thing.
He taught us to be generous.
He taught us humility.
He taught us all that hard work and dedication get things done, and get you things in life. No one is entitled.
He taught us integrity.
He taught us respect.
He taught us strength.
He taught us patience.
He taught us forgiveness.
He taught us perseverance.
He taught us gentleness.
In a word, he taught us love.
I truly believe there are no words available or any tribute good enough for this man.
I'm not sure how you say goodbye to someone like him. I keep telling myself this isn't goodbye. I keep replaying the last words I ever heard my father say before he died: "Don't say goodbye, say see you later". This isn't goodbye. It is a see you later. I do know that. It's just that this pain brings up the pain of all those who have passed before him as well. Not only do we all have this big gaping wound created by his passing, but the scabs have been ripped off the wounds of my father passing, and of my two cousins passing long before their time.
This is hard. This is so damn hard. I keep trying to look at the positive side, seeing family again. Being around loved and friends is the plus here. We are all trying so hard to make this a celebration of his life. We want to honor him. That's what this is about. But we all know it's also goodbye. I think maybe deep down, I may not be the only one struggling with this.
Granddad, thank you. Thank you for all your love and leadership, generosity and forgiveness, patience and love. Thank you for being the man you were and for meaning so much to all of us. I know you are pain free and happy now. And I know we'll be seeing you again someday. You left a hole no one could ever fill. And that's okay. We will keep your memory alive, just like daddy's, Tommy's, and Chris' in all we do. You will forever and always hold a special and dear place in our hearts. And until we meet again, just know, I love you.