Hi, I am your granddaughter. I only wish I could have gotten the chance to meet you at some point during my life. All I have are pictures and stories that mom, dad, and both grandmothers have told me. I have seen them light up talking about you and I have seen them break down crying when thinking about how soon you were taken from us.
It has been a blessing to grow up with two loving grandmothers and a step grandfather. But a part of me has always been missing — you both. In a way, I was able to get a sense of who moms father was because his best friend became my step grandfather. However, it just is not enough. I don't think I ever really truly realized how much it affected me that I never got to meet either of you though until coming to college. It hit me two years ago in Italy. Krista, Jimmy and I were seated at the end of the dinner table one night when an older man came up and started singing to us. As the three of us looked at each other and over to mom and dad, we started crying. Crying because mom and dad would have given anything for you to be there with us experiencing this incredible moment in your homeland and crying because we never got the chance to meet you.
Sometimes I get angry thinking that dad had to grow up without a father and that mom had to lose her father right after getting married. I get filled with tears thinking that you missed out on watching your eight grandkids grow up. But then I realize, you gave me the strongest, hardest working, loving parents that this world has seen. Every obstacle they faced made them stronger. They are my definition of a warrior.
As I get ready to walk across the stage in a few short weeks, I only hope that I have made you proud. These past four years have been filled with ups and downs, and moments where I did not think I had the courage to keep moving forward anymore. Despite those struggles, something inside of me kept pushing me through, you. I hope that you see a bit of my parents in me because the qualities they posses are ones that I only dream I can have.
You have raised the most amazing parents in this world and I cannot thank you enough for that. They are my rock and my everything and I only hope that you look down smiling and are so overbearingly proud of the wonderful people they turned out to be. If I could have one wish, it would be to bring you both back so that you could tell them how proud you are of them, or to have all of your eight grandkids tell you how much they love you. Until then, I love you and cannot wait to meet you one day.