Five years ago today I received a phone call from my uncle that shook my entire world. My uncle called to notify me that my dearly loved grandfather had passed away. Even though I knew he had been battling cancer for years, this call completely took my breath away and left my mind spinning out of control. It was just a few days earlier when I spoke to my grandfather and he wished me a happy birthday. I was really confused because my birthday wasn’t until the end of the month, but I think he must have known he would not be here physically to wish me a happy birthday. Sadly this was the last time I was able to talk to my grandfather and hear his voice.
During my last conversation with my grandfather we talked about a vacation my husband and I had planned to celebrate both my birthday and our anniversary at the end of the month. I told him that I wanted to postpone that vacation and come see him instead. Being the strong nature person he was, he told me absolutely not and I could go see him another time. I did not want to be too pushy with him because he did sound weak and I assumed he didn’t want me to see him in the shape he was in. As much as I wish I had gone to see him instead going on celebratory vacation, I would never have felt right going against his wishes because I had SO much respect for him.
I am sure y’all already know through some of my previous posts that I absolutely and totally idolized my grandfather. Logically I know that people do pass away, but I didn’t know how to accept the fact he was gone from the world I live in. We hadn’t lived in the same state for years, but he was always just a phone call away and I enjoyed the opportunity to talk with him. I remember having saved a voicemail of his and was SO incredibly heartbroken when that message was suddenly gone. I guess it was my fault because I had it saved for so long and my carrier decides to delete messages after 30 days. This was the last chance I had to hear his voice. If only I had known this back then, I would still have that voicemail and be able to hear his sweet Irish voice whenever I wanted to.
I know I have said this before, but my grandfather was the most amazing, encouraging, loving, thoughtful, and compassionate person in the world. He did not know hateful judgmental behavior. He always treated everyone fairly and equally. Even though there will NEVER be another like him, I will always do all I can to come as close as possible to living my life in his image.
I remember everything about that horrible day five years ago and how I actually swallowed my own pride to call my father with the terrible news. Being the first time I had talked to my father in years, this was not an easy conversation. I even remember all the days leading up to the funeral. Tears flowed like rain during a tropical storm in the middle of the summer at a tropical island. On our flight up to where his funeral was held, I sat on the plane writing to clear my head. I wrote four poems for him that day and I’m sure he knows all the words considering, as always, he was my inspiration.
The last visual image I have of my grandfather was when I had my husband on one side of me and my uncle on the other, and we walked up to where he was resting peacefully in his casket. He just looked like he was sleeping, but it was very traumatizing for me. All I could think was this man looks like my grandfather, but this isn’t him and I want him back with us.
I know that my grandfather, my poppy, will always live on in my heart and soul. I will carry the lessons I learned from him and always cherish his memory. As crazy as this may sound, every time I see a single butterfly and I am feeling totally helpless, I feel that it is my grandfather trying to let me know he is still there and everything is going to be okay. While smiling his golden and very contagious smile he would probably say something like, “Chin up and keep smiling because everything happens for a reason and it all works out the way it is supposed to.” Those are definitely words I live by.
Thank you so much for visiting my site today. I normally try to not write such a lengthy post, but today is a day I will never forget and I am extremely emotional. Y’all know I love all of your comments and will always respond as quickly as I can. As always, I am sending y’all LOTS of love and comfort! The song I am trying to share is “See You Again”, and hope I do it right. This song helps me when I am missing him as I hope I will see my grandfather someday. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgKAFK5djSk