The hardest part about writing this is knowing you won't be able to read this, but it needs to be said.
Lolo, you left and the world didn't stop moving. No one noticed how quiet I became and no one stopped when I decided to go home early that day. The Earth continued to spin and I didn't even shed a tear until a week after.
You left and I didn't know how much I would miss you until I started inviting people to my graduation and realized you would make it. I didn't know how sad I was until someone's grandma had made them dinner and I thought about how your last meal was confided in hospital walls, surrounded by my family in the Philippines. I didn't know how lucky I was until my mom told me you were always calling me doctor even before I applied to medical school.
Lolo, you left before you saw how much I had grown. You left before you saw Miguel getting accepted into Elon's DPT. You left before my mom could say goodbye for the last time, so she tries to tell you every night before she sleeps how much she misses you.
A week after you left, I sat in my living room surrounded by my best friend and boyfriend. I couldn't stop crying for the entire runtime of "Meet the Robinsons". In all honesty, not even Disney could save my broken heart. It was the movie I desperately needed to watch because its motto was what I needed to hear: Keep moving forward.
I couldn't wallow in your absence. You'd hate that I did anyway. Instead, I started moving with the world.
First, I stopped crying. Crying wasn't what we needed to celebrate the life you taught us to live. Instead, I applied myself. I told myself if I wasn't doing what I loved or was working towards my goals every day, I was wasting the future you'd been telling people about since I was little.
I decided this because it keeps you alive in our hearts. You would be felt and seen through our successes and accomplishments. Sure, you wouldn't be at my graduation this December, but your impact would be felt as I walk across that stage to receive my diploma. You wouldn't see me get married and have kids, but we would be telling stories of your legacy until I was as old as you were Lolo.
Goodbye is my least favorite word. It could be for a moment or for forever, but we never really know until we have to say it. I've already had to say goodbye to a Lolo once before and I'm not ready to say it now. This time, I would save my goodbye. I wasn't going to part with your memory yet, but pass it on. You taught me to enjoy life, so I fully intend to Lolo.