It's been a little over half a year since you have passed, and there are a few things I want to say.
The last time I saw you, I was not at my best. I was crying and getting sick in the bathroom. I couldn't bring myself to accept the fact that this was going to be the last time I saw you. I thought that maybe if I didn't give you a hug good-bye, that you wouldn't leave. I gave you a hug at the end of the afternoon and left, holding back tears. I knew it wouldn't be the last time I would see you, but it would be the last time I could hold a conversation with you, or hug you, or see your lively eyes.
I regret not going over to your house on my own more. My excuse was that I was young and could not go to your favorite place with you: Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I couldn't drink gin martinis with you, but I could play card games with you.
When I was younger, I would sit at your feet and play solitaire with you. We would talk and laugh. I also remember doing a report on you when I was still in middle school; it was about your time serving in the Army. They presented that book at your funeral for people to read while we waited for mass.
I held it together so well at the funeral until I saw the military memorial video, that's when I lost it. You were such a brave man and an amazing role model. Your wife loved you so much, that's why you were married over 65 years. You have amazing children and grandchildren as well.
The grandchildren live all over the United States now. Some are still in school, others have their own businesses, or are pursing different hobbies. But, we were all there together to say our final good-byes.
Your funeral truly was amazing. You had the American flag laid by your feet, and a bottle of gin and a cigar at your head. We sang "Home on the Range" for you, as the whole church fought back tears. Once the ceremony was over, we all went outside in the brisk February air. Taps was played and the twenty-one gun salute went off over our heads.
We had met at the veterans cemetery one last time. Your ashes were placed right next to Grandma's. You two must have really loved each other, you passed away on the same date, February 25th, just five years apart. I can only hope and pray to have a love like that.
Months later, we were able to visit your site at the cemetery and see the new plaque they had made for you and Grandma, it was beautiful.
I miss you, Grandpa, and I've never missed any passed family member like this. I hope you are doing well up in heaven. Save me a spot for when it's my time. You're going to have to save a lot of spots, actually, considering we have a very big family.
It's not the same without you. The family isn't the same, but that's okay. We're doing well, down here. I'm still in school and got a new job. I'm moving home once I graduate, so I'll be closer to you and be able to visit you. I hope you're doing well. I miss you, and I'm sorry.
Disclaimer: This is not relatable to every Grandfather out there, but I had some words I wanted to get off my chest. My Grandfather was such a big part of my life and I miss him tremendously. Give your Grandparents more time while they are still here; you don't want to have any regrets once they are gone.