To The Angel In The Seat Beside Me

To The Angel In The Seat Beside Me

No one else can see you but don't worry, I know you're here
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I'm sure I look like I have voices inside my head when I start to grin in my sleep or during a test or class or if I start to zone out into space and laugh or a tear strolls down my cheek. Everyone around me is probably judging me harder than I assume, but it's okay they probably don't know what's wrong with me but I'm happiest in these moments. Just me and my guardian angel together at one moment in time.

Sometimes I get whiffs of your scent. The woodsy cigars and cologne, that could've been mistaken for a calming fall breeze by anyone else around me, but to me, it's you.

That overwhelming and spontaneous sense of relief before a big test that brings me to tears. Don't worry, I feel you, I know you're holding me. Just like when I was little and would sit on your lap on the boat when we were fishing because I was scared of falling overboard. I may not see your arms anymore, but sometimes I swear I can still feel them.

Don't think I can't feel you holding my hand when I talk to you before I fall asleep. Just like I used to, I love talking to you about my day and hoping any little accomplishment of mine can make you smile down on me. I purposely keep my palm open up to the sky hoping you'll hear me and I can feel you hold it again. It may just be a mind trick or a gust of air from my fan but on the nights it counts most, I feel you squeeze my hand just like you used to.

You've made me so superstitious do you know that? I see you in everything I do. Whether you mean it or not, I see you everywhere I go since the day you left me. The morning of graduation I smelt your cigars and the picture I keep of us next to my bed just so happened to have blown onto my floor so it was the first thing I saw when I woke up. I had never seen as many butterflies as I have since the first day I stepped foot on campus and every day from then on. Thank you for spreading your bright wings right in front of my face on every good and bad day. When I am at my highest level of stress and feel like I'm gonna crack I look at my phone or clock and see 11:11 right there, every single time. You're not so sly you know, I'm starting to catch on.

I don't just see you in the sad or stressful or happy moments, I can see you standing in my room with your lanky body and your hands on your hips with your sarcastic grin and gray mustache shaking your head at me for all the "knucklehead" moves I've made. I promise I'm working on it.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is thank you for keeping your promise. Thank you for staying with me. Even though I didn't get to show you my prom dress, I didn't get to point to you walking off the stage with my diploma, I didn't get to give you a big hug and kiss goodbye when I got dropped off at college, and I don't get to hear "happy birthday my girl" from you when I turn 18 and "thank you" for all you've taught me, even though I didn't get to do all of that, thank you for showing me you're here even when I can't see you. Thank you for being there when it matters most and for never letting me feel alone. I love you and I'll always miss you but thank you for being there in the seat next to me in my 8am's, in the front of my lecture hall during my Bio exams, and for letting me feel your hand when I need one to hold.

And when I can't feel you, or hear you, or see you anymore, you'll always be in my heart, and on my ankle.

I love you pop-pop

Love always,

Your girl

Cover Image Credit: Author's Photo

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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For Nana And Papa, Your Number-One Supporters Now And Forever

You guys are so amazing, words will never be able to capture the love I have for you both, but I can try my best.

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You guys have always supported me, and I am forever thankful for the support you have given me. Especially with me going off to college a couple of years ago, you never fail to tell me how proud you are, and you always make sure that I know I am loved.

You both have gone above and beyond in every aspect of my life, and I am forever grateful for you. From birth to now, I have never doubted that you guys are on my side and that you guys are the most amazing people to walk this planet. I'd like to say thank you for some of the things that you do for me (because it is actually impossible to cover it all).

Thank you for sending me mail.

Besides the constant reminders to set up accounts to this or that, you always send cute cards with sweet messages inside, and you never fail to brighten my day. Spending holidays away from home is hard, it takes every bit of strength I have to not make the trip home, but you make sure that I feel some extra love on those days.

Thank you for supporting me through all of my sports adventures as a child.

Baseball, basketball, softball, and any other sport with a ball. You were always there, cheering, bringing me snacks, and rooting on my team. You made sure that I was always on time and trying my hardest — thank you. Because of this, I know that to this day you are still cheering me on through midterms and finals and all of the group work in between.

Thank you for all the homemade cookies.

This is a joint effort for both of you, and I know that because one makes the cookies and the other saves a baggie for me. There is something about the drive back to school after a visit home, and I think it is a little easier when you can taste home. Thank you for passing along the amazing recipe that has fueled our family for years (I definitely don't make them whenever I am homesick...).

Thank you for giving me some great life values.

Sometimes I have to step back and realize that not everyone was raised like I was, and they don't know that what goes around comes back around. You made (and are still making) me a better person. Even if you are just telling me to calm down and that things will be okay; you continually make me a better and more understanding person.

Thank you for having an always open door for me.

That means more than you probably know, but I don't know who I would be if I couldn't constantly be surrounded by you both. You always welcomed me with love, acceptance, and usually a snack. To this day I find it so odd when others have to ask their grandparents if they can visit when I could burst through the door at midnight and nothing would be awkward.

You both have given me the gift of knowing that no matter what I am loved, and that no matter what I am always surrounded by people who care. You both are beyond amazing, I don't know what I did to deserve your amazing love, but I am so thankful that I have it.

I love you both so so so much.

Thank you!

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