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.