To My Grandfather: Gone One Year Today

To My Grandfather: Gone One Year Today

If there's one thing this year has taught me it's that realization is one thing, acceptance is another.
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Sunday, April 24, 2016.

The phone is ringing. My eyes flutter as the sun streams in through my dorm room window, I stir and grab at my phone, unplugging it from the speaker on the bedside table. Mom had already called me twice that morning.

“Hello?”

“Honey-“

“Mom what’s going on?

“Grandpa passed away in his sleep last night.”

I couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, couldn’t even force myself to cry. I could only sit on the floor with back pressed up against my twin bed and sit there in shock. They had just been with him yesterday. The doctors had said six months to a year at best. But months had turned to hours overnight, and my grandfather - the man I’d idolized my entire life, was gone.

I remember the last time I saw you. It was back in November, we'd come to see you in the nursing home. I remember being so shocked at how skinny and frail you'd become. It was a terrifying contrast from the tall, strong man, who used to tower over me when i was young. I don't think I ever knew real heartbreak until I had to watch you grow so weak, frail and eventually slip away until there was nothing left. I could tell you wanted to be brave for us, for all of us. But I know you saw my smile wavering. So you reached out, took my hand and told me you weren’t scared. That just made it worse. The second they wheeled you away, I looked at my sister and I burst into tears. I never wanted you to see me cry.

I remember when I realized you weren't going to get better. That it just wasn't possible. By that point, you were too weak to fight it off. I held on the hope of the impossible, that you'd grow stronger and be able to at least live a few more years. I'd realized that the idea that you didn't have a lot of time left, was in fact a reality. Yet I refused to resign myself to the truth. If there's one thing this year has taught me it's that realization is one thing, acceptance is another.

I remember the last time I spoke to you. It had been the day before you passed. I called my parents, and they had happened to be with you in Chicago. I only got to talk to you for a minute. By that time - by the end, you could barely talk or hear me. I told you i'd see you soon, that i'd try and come just as soon as school was done. I remember you told me you loved me, I said that I loved you too, and that was it.

I remember the first birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and every other holiday and occasion that I had to spend without you this past year. Each was marked by the painful realization that you aren't here, and that you never will be again. All that remains are the birthday cards, letters, and memories that you left behind. They are things that I will cherish more and more as the years go by. I will cherish the lessons you taught me, the stories you told, and most of all the 19 years I was so fortunate to have with you.

While I can't know where you are exactly, I hope that it's beautiful, that there is no suffering, and that you are at peace.

with my love, always.

-Alena


Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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10 Struggles Girls Taller Than 5'7" Feel On A Spiritual Level

3. "Do you date guys that are shorter than you?"
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Any girl who is at least 5'8" will understand these struggles and possibly identify with them on a spiritual level.

1. Dresses not being long enough


Finding dresses for any occasion that will be long enough is like searching for rain in a drought. And when you find one, it's bound to either cost $$$ or not fit another aspect of your body.

2. Heck, pants are never long enough either

You are constantly flooding, or else you rolled up your jeans to look like capris. Unless you special ordered some jeans online in the coveted size LONG or EXTRA LONG, this will forever be your fate.

3. "Do you date guys that are shorter than you?"

This is a personal preference people! Don't assume that a girl will or will not date someone just based on their height difference! Also, don't judge if they aren't interested in someone who is shorter than them!

4. Not wearing heels because you don't enjoy being the skyscraper of the friend group

Wearing heels can be fun buuuuuuuut sometimes towering over everyone else is not our idea of fun.

5. It's hard to find cute shoes that actually fit


You would love to have all those cute little shoes in the clearance section, but most of them barely cover your big toe.

6. Everyone thinks you walk too fast


Short-legged people just can't keep up with you, even though you aren't even walking fast. Like at all.

7. People want to jump on your back

Just because you're tall doesn't give them the license to make you into their personal camel.

8. Never being able to cross your legs underneath desks and tables

You. Can. Not. Get. Comfortable.

9. Awkward hugs

Some people will never understand.

10. Never knowing how to pose in pictures

Should you sorority squat? Pop the hip? Bend the leg? Contort your body to feel like a normal sized human? So hard to decide.

Cover Image Credit: Olivia Willoughby

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Stop Thinking I Don't Do Anything Because I'm A Stay At Home Mom

Just because I don't have a full-time job, does not mean I'm not a full-time mom.

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When I had my daughter, me and my husband both agreed that it would work best for our family if I stayed home with our daughter. As an online college student, it works because I'm able to take care of our daughter as well as get school work done. But, for some reason, people believe when you're a stay at home mom, you just sit at home doing nothing.

Just because I don't have a full-time job, does not mean I'm not a full-time mom.

As a stay at home mom and full-time college student, my day starts as soon as my daughter's feet hit the ground and doesn't end until way after she closes her eyes.

Staying home makes people think I have all the time in the world, that all my days consists of is sitting around, and that I should be able to do what they need me to do in the snap of their fingers. I don't mind helping people or hanging out, but asking me insanely last minute or making me feel bad for not being able to do whatever you need me too, is not the way to go about it.

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