To My Guardian Angel Grandparents

To My Guardian Angel Grandparents

I know you're looking down on me, but I wish you were right next to me.

To My Guardian Angel Grandparents,

I wish you could see me right now. Be here, on this earth, to interact with me. I wish you could have been waiting outside the auditorium after my musical, on the sidelines cheering during my soccer games, on the sidewalk waiting for me after graduation. I wish you could have been here, in the flesh, for all my biggest milestones.

I know you are watching down on me, sometimes I can even feel it. Whenever I'm scared and I become at ease, I know it is because of Papa Mike and Grandma Becky. I think about you guys more than you know. How different my life could be if I had you guys here with me. How much I wish I could have spent a few more years with you before you went to heaven.

See, the thing about losing your grandparents as a baby is that it seems normal not to have them in your life. But, as I get older I can't help but focus on the void I have. I love you guys deeply, but I wish I would have gotten to make some memories with you.

It sucks when someone asks about you because really, I can't tell them much. I can tell them how you passed on, or that Papa Mike loved to fish or how Grandma Becky was one of the most caring and sweetest women to walk this earth. I wish I could tell them about the memories we made, but we didn't have much time to make them.

I bet you are watching me. Looking down on me, seeing my big moments and even my small ones. What else can I say besides this: I really hope you are looking over me. I feel like I have two very special angels rooting for me in the sky. You guys are up there, and sometimes I feel like you guys are the reason I've accomplished so much. You are the reason I had the courage and trust to continue on in the hard moments. You guys were the little voice in the back of my head saying, "Go for it, baby girl."

You left me so soon, and that makes me very sad. But, without that sadness, I never would have gotten to live with Auntie. She became my big sister who I would never have had otherwise. You gave me the best dad in the world. He's my superhero, and you guys made one hell of a son. Thank you for putting amazing people in this world to help make me into the person I am today.

I look for you sometimes in the sky. I see the pretty colors and know it's going to be okay. Whenever I hear "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" by Green Day, I can't help but think of you guys. I hope that big sky up there is treating you well. I hope you know I'm always thinking of you. And, I hope you know, I love you very, very much.


Your First Grandbaby

Cover Image Credit: The Boivin's

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Examine What You Tolerate

You deserve better!

More often than not, we accept less than we deserve. Whether it be friends, a boyfriend/girlfriend, or our everyday acquaintances, it is easy to let people overstep your boundaries.

The reality is, what we allow is what will continue. If someone leaves you with unsettling feelings or makes you feel like you have to prove your worth, the relationship should not be where our energy is placed. So why do we allow this?

In my thrive group (bible study through the Cru organization on my campus), we read an article on relationships. The article provided reasons in which we feel the need to hold on to others. We tend to go from relationship to relationship and tolerate stupidity to fulfill our “spiritual thirst.” Here are some of the underlying “thirsts” that the article suggests we are trying to quench through relationships:

"Approval and appreciation. “My life feels more meaningful when I get the praise and compliments of others” or “I like being in a relationship because it makes me feel wanted.”

Influence and Power. “I feel more powerful when I am dating someone important or when I’m accepted into an elite group on campus.”

Emotional and physical comfort. “Being in a relationship with someone makes me feel less lonely or bored” or “I like the intimacy we have when we talk on the phone every night or when we engage in sexual activity.”

Security and control. “I feel more secure about myself and my future when I’m in a committed relationship” or “I like to date people I can control because I like being the one in charge.”

I would argue that the central reason for our tolerating of other's bulls**t is because we lack the understanding of our worth. In order for us to create relationships in which we don't feel taken for granted, cheated, or judged, we must love ourselves enough to set boundaries. "Your time and your energy are precious. It is us who chooses how we use it. We teach others how to treat us by deciding what we will and will not accept" (Anna Taylor).

It is not selfish to love yourself. It is necessary to make your own happiness a priority. Sometimes, this is more difficult than it sounds. Letting go of toxic people may be scary because you have to sacrifice your security blanket. However, it is essential we understand that we deserve nothing more than the love that we give freely to those we love in return.

At some point, we have to stop asking why people treat us the way they do and start asking why we allow it. I know that personally, once I begin to proactively examine how the people around me treat me and make me feel, I can see a stark contrast in the functions of each of my relationships.

It is hard to cut people out of your life, though this doesn't mean we need to be unkind. We should still give, but not allow ourselves to be used. We should still trust, but not be naive and let lies be swept under the rug. We should still listen and care but must acknowledge that our voices too are important.

All I'm trying to say is, just because you love someone's presence in your life, does not mean they are healthy for you. We can't let others stunt our confidence and keep us from knowing how valuable we are.

You deserve better than people who can not see your amazing attributes and mess with your flow! Stop letting others make you question your worth and embrace the fact that you are dope as hell.

Cover Image Credit: Audrey Hall

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A Letter To Remember Who You Were Before What Happened Last Summer

Your teachings will continue to have an impact and it will be a reminder to enjoy the present, as it is —​ a present.

I remember receiving your last Snapchat, asking me how Germany was. I recall the anxiety I felt with that question and I avoided answering because of where my mental state was. I wanted to say it was the best experience I could have ever asked for or something to express a euphoric state, but the intensity of my current state and memories that were biting every inch of my body prevented me from a desire to respond.

The week I decided to respond to you and everyone that was asking, in a slow manner. I suddenly heard of your absence. You were missing and were being searched for. All I could do was talk to friends for updates and text you in hopes of receiving an answer.

Discovering a day later the truth and realizing you're physically gone was a devastating shock, especially across the globe, the same spot you were supposed to be that same summer.

In some way, you made your presence known that same day. For some reason I ended up at a bakery with pastries of your interest, representing the French culture you adored and the Lana Del Rey song that was playing as I sat down. An indicator that you are never truly gone.

Even after nine months since your passing, I would like to appreciate the individual you were. The appreciation you had for the present moment and your passion to discover the globe, through its locations, people, food and music. In each one of those aspects is where I can relive those memories with you, as can anyone else. I can feel your presence in the style you had, your way of being and the clothing you wore. You have left your imprint in my life and I look forward to reliving these shared memories. Your teachings will continue to have an impact and it will be a reminder to enjoy the present, as it is — a present.

Cover Image Credit: Alan Alatorre-Barajas

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