To my Poppop,
December 6th, 2005 was the day my life changed in so many ways. The day you, Poppop, passed away and left us with so many questions.
Although the year anniversary of your death has passed, I still find myself constantly thinking about you. You are a thought that crosses my mind daily no matter what I am doing. I miss you. I miss you everyday. Poppop, I hope you are still proud of me and the person I am. The day you passed away was the day I lost the man who taught me to always want to give more to the people I love, the man who made me breakfast whenever I was in the house and loved me with all of his heart. The man who was strong enough to build a family with no support and who always reminded me to look up at the clouds every so often.
Losing you has been hard on me. It has been hard on all of us. Though it has been a little more than 11 years, I still see how much you’re missed when Mom looks up at the sky on a beautiful day, or when Uncle Paddy laughs and he sounds so much like you or when Dad helps me bait the hook when we go fishing or when Shannon smiles and I see your happiness in her. But no matter how much we all miss you, you left us with the most beautiful lessons, most importantly the power of love.
The love you had for your family, friends, and for life made everyone’s day a little bit better. But nothing compared to the way you loved Nanny. You and Nanny shared the truest, deepest and most tender love I had the pleasure and privilege of witnessing growing up. You showed and demonstrated that true love does exist. You were always gentle, patient and kind when interacting with the love of your life. You treated her like a queen, and she was and is your queen. I believe few people will experience this kind of love in their lifetime, but thank you for showing me that it is possible and for setting my standards high.
The worst part of losing you was realizing that I can never see you again in this lifetime. I realize that I will never be able to physically touch you, hear your distinct voice, or watch "The Nanny" with you and Nanny in the living room in the middle of the night, ever again, but I know one thing for sure-- without any sort of doubt in my mind: You are watching over me and helping me get through the best and worst days.
Poppop, thank you for raising and creating such a strong, dependable family so that we can lean on one another in joyful and difficult times. Thank you for raising my mother to be the best version of herself who then raised me into being the best version of myself. Thank you for giving me an endless supply of memories from my childhood.
There aren't enough words in the dictionary to describe how much I love you or how you impacted my life greatly. My life hasn't been the same since you left us physically.
There aren't enough words to tell you how much I love you or how I would do anything to spend a day with you again. But please know, if there were enough words, I would say them. I wish I could drive down to Jersey and spend the weekend with you and Nanny. I wish I had your approval of my future husband. I wish I could call you and complain about how hard my classes are or how happy I am when I get a good grade.
There aren't enough words to explain how I felt when you weren't in the crowd at my high school graduation or the feeling that you won't hold a chair at my college graduation, my wedding or the chair in the hospital when I start a family of my own. While it is hard to realize that I can’t do those things, I take comfort in knowing that you will forever be my guardian angel and guard me from any harm that comes my way.
It has taken me a long time to realize that moving on doesn't mean forgetting, it means understanding. I was lucky enough to have you for the first seven years of my life, to guide me through my younger years, teaching me these vital lessons, and reminding me to keep going no matter how hard it gets. I can't tell you how many times a day I wish I had my Poppop back. Learning to cope without you is the hardest part, even years later. You prepared me for life's greatest gains. Little did you know you would be one of my biggest losses.
Everyday I try to live for you, and give you a legacy to be proud of.
I love you, Poppop,
Your Brittany Ann