Pop-Pop, I Miss You, But I Know You're Here In Spirit

Pop-Pop, I Miss You, But I Know You're Here In Spirit

I love you and miss you so much.
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Dear Pop-Pop (Pop-Pop Lollipop),

Merry Christmas, I miss you more than words can say. But my heart is content that you're in heaven with Uncle Brian, Theresa and your wife and that you're no longer in any pain. And I know that you're looking down and the family smiling and proud.

This Christmas will be very hard for the family, it's the first one without you. And it's hard to believe that, but I know in my heart that you will be there in spirit. This Christmas we will laugh, shed tears and remember the wonderful human that you were.

It's absolutely unreal to me that it has been almost five months since you've passed away, and not a day goes by that I don't think about you. It has been hard, I'm not going to lie because you could tell very easily if one of us was lying.

Everyone misses you, especially your children. There's a picture in the living room of my father from your apartment where he has a tear streaming down his face. The picture is very funny, but extremely special because it has to, in a way, deal with you.

I remember one Christmas, the family and I went down to New Jersey to visit you and say Merry Christmas. I remember giving you your gifts, and looking around the room and seeing the many pictures of all of us. (This is the part of the letter were I start crying). But, you loved all of us so much.

But something that makes me laugh is when you would tease my father, and he would tease you right back. You really loved my dad, and he really truly misses you.

I missed your phone calls this Christmas and telling you about how college is going and how I had a good Christmas. It'll be weird not hearing your voice or hearing your laugh.

I miss that, I truly do, but I will always remember the many phone calls besides Christmas, and before you hung up you would always say, "God bless you honey, and I love you."

There's a part of me that truly wishes that I got to say goodbye to you one last time. But as the saying goes, the ones we love truly never leave us, they're always there.

When I went to Philadelphia back in October or November I was walking around, and I saw a flock of pigeons. They flew towards me, and I started crying.

My friends looked at me confused, and I explained that before you passed away you were telling my dad, aunt and uncles about these damn pigeons that were annoying you.

That moment was kind of strange but special to me because, in a way, it was as if you were telling me that you were OK. And that put my heart at ease, knowing that you are no longer in pain.

This Christmas, I remembered the times I spent with you and the joy that you brought to the family and myself.

Merry Christmas, Pop-Pop.

I love you and miss you so much.

Cover Image Credit: Haylee Olley

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To The Grandmothers Who Made Us The Women We Are Today

Sincerely, the loving granddaughters.
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The relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter is something so uniquely special and something to be treasured forever.

Your grandma loves you like you are her own daughter and adores you no matter what. She is the first person you run to when you have a problem with your parents and she never fails to grace you with the most comforting advice.

She may be guilty of spoiling you rotten but still makes sure to stress the importance of being thankful and kind.

Your grandma has most likely lived through every obstacle that you are experiencing now as a young adult and always knows just exactly what to say.

She grew up in another generation where things were probably much harder for young women than they are today.

She is a walking example of perseverance, strength, and grace who you aim to be like someday.

Your grandma teaches you the lessons she had to learn the hard way because she does not want you to make the same mistakes she did when she was growing up.

Her hugs never fail to warm your heart, her smile never fails to make you smile, and her laugh never fails to brighten your day.

She inspires you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

You only hope that one day you can be the mother and grandmother she was to you.

A piece of girl’s heart will forever belong to her grandma that no one could ever replace.

She is the matriarch of your family and is the glue that holds you all together.

Grandmothers play such an important role in helping their granddaughters to grow into strong, intelligent, kind women.

She teaches you how to love and how to forgive.

Without the unconditional love of your grandma, you would not be the woman you are today.

To all of the grandmothers out there, thank you for being you.

Sincerely,

the loving granddaughters

Cover Image Credit: Carlie Konuch

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Kit Kat On A Rainy Day

My grandpa went missing one rainy afternoon, but what happened later is very heartwarming!

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It was a rainy afternoon in the middle of October. The road was covered in an almost invisible film of water, and mud seeped through the cracks of the sidewalk. The wind blew at a harsh and firm angle. The temperature was sharp and bitter. I was in 10th grade at the time and had just gotten back to school. I sat at my desk upstairs with my legs comfortably nuzzled against my chest. I admired the lavender fuzzy socks on my feet while very blatantly ignoring my homework and other responsibilities. I gently sipped warm apple cider, carefully making sure that it wouldn't burn my tongue whilst scrolling through my phone. This rainy afternoon in the middle of October was seemingly very normal.

I eventually picked up a pencil and reluctantly began my homework, but was very quickly distracted by the sounds of panicked yelling coming from downstairs. I quickly made my way to the scene so that I could figure out what was going on. My mom and grandma were in the kitchen crying and screaming. My grandma sounded agitated and afraid. My mom was barely able to make out coherent sentences as she scrambled to find my dad's contact in her phone. I shuddered and felt completely frozen when I was finally able to understand what was going on.

My 85-year-old grandpa who also has Alzheimer's was missing from our home. My stream of consciousness was abruptly interrupted as I heard the door leading to our garage slam shut. My mom was going to drive around our neighborhood to look for my grandpa, as he realistically could not have made it that far. I went back upstairs and sunk into my chair. My eyes were wide and I could hear my heart beating outside of my chest. I trembled and cried. These are the kinds of horrible and unfortunate stories that you read about or watch in the news. You never expect it to happen to a loved one. The gravity of the situation is heavy. It's a very obscure and different kind of pain, one that cannot be justified with words.

The next thirty or so minutes were a blur. I was not aware of how much time had passed, but I do remember hearing the slow creak of the garage open. I did not get up and I did not run down the stairs. Instead, I sat there. I sat firmly in my chair, numb and completely frozen. From where I was, everything was temporarily easier. The pain of sitting at my desk was less scathing than confronting whatever was waiting downstairs. And then, all of a sudden, I heard very slow and uneven steps coming up the stairs, accompanied by heavy breathing. It was my grandpa.

There he was, standing about three feet in front of me. I examined him, head-to-toe. He was soaked and there were remnants of mud on his pants and shoes. His glasses were covered in intricate droplets of water, and his light grey hair was disheveled. But that is not what stood out to me. What made me want to cry even more was the smile on his face that was beaming with love, as his eyes met mine. He steadily walked towards me, put his hand in his pocket, and I watched his fragile hands shake as he pulled out a Kit Kat bar.

"For you!" He said with a little laugh.

- - -

My mom had found my grandpa in a Walgreens right outside our neighborhood. To this day I still don't know how he got there, and I do not care to know the exact fundamentals of how he got from point A to point B. This is a man whose life and memories have been unfairly taken from him. This is a man who can barely make out a sentence in either Hindi or English. This is a man who, to this very day, cannot remember my name or who I am. However, what this disease has failed to do is strip him of his innate kindness. His mind might be impaired but his ability to love is immortal and unbreakable.

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