It's been almost six years to the day since we lost you. I still think about you every day. I think about our mini lunch "dates" that you used to take me on after a "packed" half day at school when I was in kindergarten. I still think about the long hours in front of the fireplace having fun with you, laughing with you and just enjoying every minute with you. I miss falling asleep on your lap by that same fire place on a cool summer night. I see pictures of you from when you were not much older than me in your Army uniform, and think about how you served this great country. I see pictures of us together and family gatherings and think about all the funny things we talked about. I remember when you used to go around the room talking about how proud of each one of us you were about some recent accomplishment. I remember always feeling like I wasn't worth your praise, knowing how hard you worked and how accomplished you were.
I remember going to Sunday mass with you and not knowing what was going on but still loving every second I got to spend with you. I miss watching for you to turn down the street whenever you came to visit. I've kept so many of the birthday cards you sent just to look at the way you wrote. I wish every day that you could be here. Without you it's been different. Much different.
I did so many things that would make you proud. I joined JROTC and made something of myself through it. And by graduation, I had the rank of Cadet Master Sergeant. I had you in my heart the whole time I was in that program.
I graduated high school, when just a few short years before I didn't think I could. And somehow it felt like you were with me every step of the way. I got into three colleges senior year and wait listed at one. I wanted to call you the day I got my first acceptance letter to tell you, but knew you weren't going to pick up on the other end. I wish you could have been there to see me walk across the stage to accept my high school diploma. I could only imagine how happy you would have been.
Now at the end of my freshman year of college, I realized that you were there with me the whole time. Although I miss you every day, I know your still here with me in spirit.
Did I want to let you go? No, of course not. Do I know if you're in a better place now? Yes. There will never not be a time where I don't miss you. I often now find myself feeling jealous that others still have a grandfather, but there is nothing I can do to change that. If I could become even half the person you were, I would be happy.
Rest in peace Grandpa.