Three years can seem like just yesterday and also like a lifetime.
Today I plan to take your oldest grandson to school (I can’t believe he’s in kindergarten!), then off to work along with random errands tossed in. A somewhat normal sounding day, although I know, life changes in an instant.
You would be so proud of your grandson! Both of them! The Boy and Little H. Although he didn’t have the joy of meeting you, Little H knows about you. Through The Boy of course and our family, you were our rock.
Little H was born less than 2 months after you passed. A bundle of light in our sea of grief. You knew of him. I remember when they told you his name, Little bro and Sweet Sis were so excited. We were all so over the moon and the tears of love and happiness were only overshadowed knowing our time with you was short.
I over hear The Boy telling Little H stories about you. You have made it to super hero status in the eyes of your grandsons. You were always a superhero to me. The boy includes you in his nightly prayers, “God Bless GiGi and Pops”. Every time.
Sunday, February 9, 2014 was a crisp cool day. I knew we would have company, you were loved and admired by so many.
I got up and came downstairs with mama. Seeing you, I knew. I knew that I couldn’t know the time but I knew your journey here was nearly over. It was surreal. As I helped you get ready, I whispered words of encouragement and love. One of the many ways you always gave to me I was able to give back to you. You didn’t talk as much as your strength was waning, your body tired and sore from a long, hard fought battle. But you were at peace with this world and with God. You held onto my arm, your grip was firm. I remember because earlier you had apologized for not having as much strength… you looked into my eyes and told me You Love Me. Oh, Daddy, I love you too! I wish I had more time with you!
I went to the store three times that day. I went early to get some medicines and supplies we needed. I didn’t get the rest done until much later that day. The second time I went I had just gotten out of the car when Sweet Sis called me and said, “Come home now.” The lady next to me in the parking lot was declaring what a beautiful day it was. My expression had changed from smiling to panic, I guess. I just said, “I have to go. My daddy” and jumped in the car. I did hear her say, “Be safe and my prayer are with you child.”
It is only about 5 miles but I was home before I realized it. I’m pretty sure I may have broken a traffic law or two. Sweet Sis met me in the garage, opened the door and said, “Go”, with her eyes filled with tears of love and sorrow. I raced through the house, passing The Boy and Auntie, I knew she knew and said “I love you both!” A few steps later, I joined mama, Little Bro, Uncle and the rest of the family came in as we surrounded you at your bedside. A couple of friends who had come by to say their goodbyes to a great man who I called Daddy were also in the room.
We were all right there with you as you took your last earthly breath.
As the tears ran down my face, I looked at mama and little bro…I could hear Uncle praying. I felt your arm beneath my hands and you were still warm.
There but yet not there.
As I raised my face up, the tears blurring my vision and cries choking my words, I saw and felt this beautiful, warm sunshine hazy mist. It was all around us, enveloping us almost.
I realized it was you. Comforting us. Helping us to find a peace within our grief as it was so overwhelming.
You were no longer feeling the pain and suffering of the disease that had held you for too long. You were free! Free in ways we can only imagine. As I felt my deepest, most painful loss, I saw and felt your love around us.
I sometimes find it so hard to remember that. Selfishly, I want you here. I Need you, Daddy. I need your advice, your guidance, but mostly, I just need to feel your arms around me because no matter what I know that you love me. I was always safe in your arms from the time I started my journey. I always knew my Daddy would protect me.
As you say, life does go on. It is definitely not always easy. Lately, it has been pretty challenging and I find myself talking to you more.
I am beginning to understand that maybe I know some of the steps I need to take – actions not always words! I also know I miss you more than I knew it was possible to miss someone. Someone who was ALWAYS there for me and truly loved me unconditionally when I know I was tough to even like at times. You always told me I was harder on myself than everyone else was. Sometimes you said I needed to be. Other times, I need to lay off myself. The second part isn’t always so easy for me as you know.
I know that I will get through this day. If I am blessed, I will live to see tomorrow and another day with my miracle boy. I have a loving family, a boyfriend and his son who I know love me, as well as an amazing group of friends who are like family…you know how we somewhat adopt folks and keep them for life! Most you’ve met, some I wish you could meet. I still always Keep Hope Alive!
I just couldn’t let today go by without writing you a letter. It’s probably better than sitting at the gravesite rambling away, laughing and crying! I will probably do that too, at least not too many will hopefully not see that part!
I am so thankful that I had you as my father. I know I was truly blessed.
I love you, Daddy.