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