My grandfather was a veteran that died on Veteran’s Day in 2019. He was sick for a while. We knew his time was coming. But even when you know the Angel of Death is near, it’s still a shock when he arrives.
There is no amount of mental preparation you can do to anticipate the void you feel after the death of a loved one. Luckily for us, we always say what is on our minds, so I had no feelings of regret or longing for one more visit or one more conversation with him. However, I wish I could talk to him about what is going on in life now AND hear his response.
I wonder what his theories and conspiracies would be about COVID. I wonder what he would say about the home improvements we’ve made on our house. I wonder how he would feel about not being able to go to the buffet for 3 months. I wonder what’s on his mind right now. I wonder, I wonder.
I know he would be so proud of our babies. He would be so proud of us.
I wish I could get more of his annoying texts and phone calls lol. I wish I could see his smile and watch him playing with my daughter. He loved us so much and he loved that baby girl. He came to visit us almost every day until he physically couldn’t anymore. He was always there for us, no matter what, no matter how far he had to drive. He never missed an event for us. He was always ready to reward us or celebrate with us. He always gave us everything he had.
If my grandfather didn’t like doing anything else, he loved to eat. Eat at the buffet, eat boiled crawfish, eat at a steakhouse, eat boiled crabs, eat BBQ, just eat out in general. Every year for Veteran’s Day, he would go around to all the restaurants that let veterans eat free and get the food (and take some home).
I guess when Veteran’s Day came and he couldn’t do his yearly tradition, he was like, “Man, I guess it’s time for me to head out,” lol. I know he stayed with us as long as he could. He is the one person that we can say who gave everything he had while he was here.
He was my first best friend and one of my greatest cheerleaders. How do you carry on when someone who has been there for your life for your whole life suddenly isn’t there? How do you just resume life when someone who was such a big part of it is no longer there? How do you experience a big event/big accomplishment without the first person you want to see in the audience or the first person you want to call to tell about it?
I know he is always with me in spirit and I see him in the little things each day. Things like the cardinals (red birds) that fly around my home, in my baby daughter’s snide looks, in my mom’s attitude and actions. It’s crazy how all of his energy dissipated into the world around us. I’ve come to the realization that I’ll always miss him. And I’ll probably always feel this void. It just makes me sad that my daughter won’t get to share the same memories of him first hand. I will make sure she knows of his spirit and that we are here because of him.
My Grandaddy was a great man. He was the meanest, the loudest, the grumpiest, the happiest, the coolest, the silliest, the most caring, the most loving, the wisest, the most supportive, the most determined, the hardest working, the most selfless, and the strongest man I will ever know. I am so grateful for the life he has given me.
Happy Birthday, Da! I miss you and I hope you are having a good time watching over us and eating all the crawfish and steaks they have. We’ll keep doing our best and making you proud. We will never forget you! Love, Jalynn and baby JP
Thanks for reading this special post, everyone.
*champagne and confetti*