The little things hurt the most

It's The Little Things That Mean The Most

Those small memories hurt the most.

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My grandfather passed away the summer before my senior year.

I still remember the way those words hit when my dad told me. My grandfather was the perfect picture of health— he had rows of vegetables in his garden, was always lively and was even substitute teaching two weeks before his death. When he passed away, the first thing I thought of was how I'm never going to be able to see or hear him ever again, and it felt surreal.

In the months after his funeral, I tried to think of little things to remember him by. I tried to think about what his hugs felt like or the sound of him playing the piano at every family gathering. I pictured him singing or how his voice perked up when he said: "I am content."

When I started forgetting what all of those little things sounded and felt like, I started to freak out.

I didn't want to forget about someone that made such an impact on my life and someone that was taken from me so quickly. He was loved by any person he came into contact with, and I was lucky enough to be his granddaughter.

Like any person who is grieving, the first few months were really hard for me. Whether it was someone in a bow-tie or an older man singing the bass-line at church, I felt like everything reminded me of him. I just wanted to go a day without thinking of him or how much I miss him.

When I got my first college acceptance letter, I kept thinking about how excited he would be for me. My grandparents have always valued education over everything else and all I wanted to do was tell him my big plans after high school, but I couldn't. He never got to see me graduate or finish my first semester of college and I always wonder what he would say to me if he were alive today. Somedays I never think of him and other times I think about him constantly.

My grandfather passed away almost two years ago and lately everything has reminded me of him. To a man in Mizzou's Chorale Union who looks and acts exactly like him, to the other day when a sunbeam shined on my computer. I even heard someone playing the piano on campus and thought of him. I've recently been doing some really cool things in my college career and I wish I could share with him how excited I am about it.

While sometimes the anniversaries, birthdays and Christmases don't hurt as bad as they used to, the little things still hurt.

While a lot of these memories are sad some of them are happy memories. Knowing that I am going to college and singing in a choir at Mizzou makes me think of how proud he would be of me.

I know everything happens for a reason and that's hard to accept, but sometimes I wish he were still alive.

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!

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It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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