It kind of takes my breath away to think that it's been four years since we lost Grandad to cancer. Four years since we had to say goodbye. Sometimes I can't remember what I had for lunch the day before, but I can clearly remember the sounds, sights, emotions, and feelings that I experienced in the early hours of May 9th, 2011. I can remember the sniffs and cries from myself and my family. I can still hear my Grandmom assuring my Grandad it was okay to let go. I can still feel the panic that set in to my heart when I was told it was "time." And while I'm typing this, I'm consumed with heartache and I'm experiencing a shortness of breath. And it's now that I realize I haven't experienced these feelings for quite some time.
I think that's because when I think of my Grandad now, I don't think of his illness and demise. I remember who he was as a person. And you should all know that my Grandad was an amazing human being. Supportive, loving, and so strong! I see these same characteristics in my brother: protective and strong. I see them in my Uncle Mark: loving and supportive. And in my own father: supportive, caring, and oh so patient!
Grandad was always so proud of his family. He was an amazing leader and support system. Today, when I look at my family and how we've grown and changed over the last four years, I only wish he could be here to see it. If I could talk to him, I would tell him so many things! But here is what I'd want him to know about his family:
Your grandchildren have grown so much in the last four years. Brad has found a career that suits him, that he's good at, and that he loves. He is strong, protective, and has grown in to an amazing man. And our relationship as brother and sister has strengthened. We support each other and care for each other. He and dad are my rocks. They keep my panicky, over thinking mind grounded.
Rebecca and Rachel are beautiful young ladies. They excel in so many ways: sports, academics, and just being amazing young women. I see myself in Rebecca in so many ways when I was that age. She's coming in to her own, driving a CAR, and is so mature. Rachel is a basketball superstar, has legs miles long, and is so charismatic. You would be so proud of them!
My personal connection with Uncle David has strengthened since your passing. I've visited him twice in Vancouver, and he is making his second trip out East this summer. We send postcards, emails, and stay in touch regularly. He is an amazing human being and has taught me a lot about life, and a lot about your younger years. I'm so thankful he is a part of my life, because he reminds me so much of you.
Mom, Dad, Uncle Mark, and Aunt Carolin are amazing parents. They are the most caring and supportive people. But above everything else, they love. The love each other, they love their children, they love their nieces and nephews, and they love Grandmom. They have taken such good care of her, looked out for her, and protected her. I think they learned from the best - YOU!
And Grandmom. I would be lost without her! I am so proud of the strides she's made and how she has adjusted to her new lifestyle. She continues to be active, she supports our family in so many ways, and she's a pro at the computer now (It's true! Don't shake your head, Grandmom!) She is one of the strongest and most beautiful women in my life. She inspires me, and I love her with all my heart. You would be so proud of her!
You are missed every day. And everything I accomplish, every step I take and new path I explore, I think of you. I love you Grandad, always and forever.
Love from your #1 Granddaughter.