Sitting in the car on a chilly December night waiting to look at Christmas lights, I found myself in the company of a weeping man. His shoulders shook as he sniffled into his tissue, trying to find a sense comfort during the holiday season. This man happened to be my Pop Pop. It had been just over a year since my grandmother passed away -- or Beachmom, as we called her. Christmas will forever be a difficult time for my family, as it was Beachmom's favorite and she passed just before it. And in that car that night, I felt so sad for my Pop Pop and wanted to just give him the biggest hug. I wanted him to not feel the need to cry anymore.
The holiday season is supposed to be such a joyous and happy time, but there are some people who feel overwhelming grief instead due to other events in their life. Beachmom passing was something I never thought would happen. She was such a strong, independent woman. However, all ends are inevitable and her time came to go with God. She seemed as if she could live forever.
And in certain ways, I believe she does.
Watching my grandfather cry gave me an odd sense of hope. He had such a powerful and endless love for a woman -- something I had never seen before. He still gives her life daily. He breathes in the air that she would have while he boasts about what a fantastic woman she was. He can never talk enough about how my amazing Beachmom. And he gives me hope that true love does exist.
When Pop Pop talks about my Beachmom, it's as if she's still alive. It's like she's out running some errands, probably shopping at her favorite store or painting in her studio. It's as if she's never left. I learn more about her than ever before. I discover her quirks, her rich history, her sense of fashion (that I seem to have obtained) and her love for family. I learn all of these things through Pop Pop's nostalgic stories.
The fact that a man can love a woman so much that he makes her seem alive after death is beyond imaginable. I never sincerely believed in true love until I saw how much he loved her, both while she was alive and after she died. And I never truly understood how much a person could love another until she left. And even though Beachmom is no longer with us, Pop Pop makes it as if she is always there and always will be. We're just waiting for her to come home.