Today marks the one year anniversary of your death. The man that started out as my Great-grandfather and was thrust into the role of Dad when I was only two. How you dealt with the loss of your daughter and grand-daughter all in an instant and still managed to step up and into the role of Dad for me is remarkable. Thank you for the amazing things you taught and shared with me, I will carry them with me and continue to pass them on to my children. When Mom died I remember sitting for hours at night playing chess and euchore. All the conversations we shared, I told you so much and never did you judge or chastize. You just listened and tried to gently guided me in the right direction. I wore a mask to keep out the world but I was allowed to take it off when it was just me and you.
How many dance lessons and recitals did you sit through, choir concerts, school plays? You were always there camera in hand, so proud no matter how bad it actually was. Holding me in your lap as we watched Unsolved Mysteries, or Hee Haw......laughing at the ocean sounds that came from your stomach as we rocked. Playing in the driveway as you plowed the snow. Always saying" I love you" when I left for school, went to bed, and before we hung up the phone. You had a way of changing Moms mind when she was being over protective, and allowed me to go out and experience life.
I remember when the roles reversed and for the first time you needed me. You were so stubborn when it came to admitting you were sick, so when you called I knew it was important and I took pride in the fact that you trusted me to let your guard down. I’m pretty sure the ER nurses thought we belonged on the next floor up with the padded rooms and locked doors. Our twisted sense of humor (a defense mechanism that got us through a lot of hard times) wasn’t always understood by others, but we managed to entertain ourselves during those stressful hours at the hospital.
I’m so thankful you allowed me the opportunity to take care of you during the last years of your life. I know I made a lot of mistakes but I wouldn’t change it for anything. During that time you taught my boys so much. The love shared makes the pain of our loss hurt a little less. Every time they open a door, or show compassion and respect for their elders I know it came from you. Their love for you.
I know we had some heated arguments towards the end, it couldn’t have been easy handing the reins over and watching your independents slip away. Obviously you passed along your stubbornness to me. But when at times it became to much and I started to cry your demeanor would change. You hated to see me cry and a simple "Honey it will be okay" made things right again. Thank you for that. Your love understanding stamina humor determination and patience has made myself and family into what it is today. God I miss you. But I look forward to a day when we will be together again with all the loved ones lost or taken too early from us. Thank you for all you have given me and my family. Our Papa, GG, Pops, Dad, we miss and love you.