Grandpa passed away today.
The tears streaming down my face are tears of sadness and also tears of joy.
My heart hurts. It hurts a lot.
But at the same time, my heart is full. Full of the knowledge of the glorious reunion taking place in heaven at this very moment. My grandparents are together once again, after 16 years.
My relationship with grandpa was a unique one, and I feel blessed.
He wasn't the kind of grandpa you just see once a year at a reunion and hear stories about every once in a while.
He was the grandpa that came over for Sunday dinners.
The grandpa who came to all of my sports events.
The grandpa who remembered every single Birthday.
The grandpa who was full of hugs and hand kisses.
The grandpa with endless stories of his farm-boy childhood.
The grandpa I grew up with.
The grandpa who played the harmonica.
The grandpa who helped me build my first snowman complete with hair made out of leaves.
The grandpa who loved sweets almost as much as I do.
The grandpa who would go bowling once a week at the age of 90.
The grandpa that was there...always there.
It is ripping my heart out to not be able to be there. To comfort my mother. To mourn with my family. To go to the funeral. To talk about grandpa. To hear the stories and the memories. To share in the comfort, warmth and peace of family.
But the timing isn't right. Our baby boy is on the way any day now. I am just going to have to bask in the comfort that grandpa is with him now. Preparing him for his turn on this earth. And of course, passing on his name.
Earlier this week, grandpa actually mentioned our precious child. He told my mother that "the little boy was coming." He mentioned a few other things as well. He saw our son. I find peace in that.
Our son will be named after grandpa. It was planned before grandpa became so sick just a few short weeks ago. And now, more than ever, that will be very significant.
I love you grandpa. As hard as it was, I am so glad I was able to talk to you one last time yesterday. I will forever be grateful for that. I hope you heard me tell you that I love you.
Enjoy being back with your dear companion, never to be apart again. You left behind a legacy like none other, and even though you leave behind a hole that can never be filled, we will continue to carry your legacy forward. Thank you grandpa.