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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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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Even Though You Know You're Going To Lose Somebody, It Doesn't Make It Any Easier

Your mind understands what's going on, but your heart just doesn't want to let them go.

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Recently, my grandfather passed away just two days from returning to college. I knew that his days were limited, but I didn't realize how soon that was. My grandfather has had multiple cases of infections, even cancer and has bounced back from it and ended up being fine again. As a young girl, I had no idea that it was even going on at the time. He still worked at his job, even still participated in local committees and clubs.

However, since being away at my first semester, my grandfather had gotten sick. I wasn't worried about it because I knew he would bounce back again and be fine by the time I would have gotten home. However, that wasn't the case. In early October, my family had received the news that my grandfather was diagnosed with bone cancer, and he decided not to get treatment for it. I knew that he was dying, but I didn't know that in a short two months he would no longer be with us.

With a quick visit in October, a week or so after I found out the news, he was so ecstatic to see my face again because he would always say how much he missed me being home. That visit was the last time he said, "I love you." With being so far away, I realized that there was always a possibility of receiving "the call," and anytime my dad would call, my stomach would drop thinking that this was it.

Even with all the preparations being made ahead of time for my grandfather and knowing then that time was sooner than later, it still wasn't easy to see him lifeless and in so much pain. When he did pass, however, it still was hard to accept it once it did happen for me and the rest of my family.

Through the grieving process that has now started with my grandfather, I get drawn to this one verse in the bible that was said at his funeral service. Psalms 23:6 (ESV) "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever." I know now that he is in a better place, and he has reunited with his family members and will meet everyone else once we pass on.

Death is a hard topic to talk about, and even think about knowing that we someday we will pass on. But death should be more celebrated for then being pondered about. Personally, if someone can remember somebody in a positive manner, then their life was well lived and has impacted other people's lives.

I will always remember my grandfather's larger than life personality, his big heart for his family and others, and his smile. I'll miss him so much.

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