My grandaddy was my best friend. He was the only person in this world who I could tell anything to without feeling judged. If I needed help, he was the first one I'd call.
Ever since I can remember, he showed his love for me in every way imaginable. All the advice, the to die for meals he would cook, and the hugs I would do anything to feel again. As a child, we moved a lot. So, his house became the only place I could ever call home. He had the same routine everyday. Wake up, drink black coffee with a splash of milk, and finally, go out to his recliner on the porch to smoke a cigarette. (He let me try coffee for the first time when I was about eight years old, and now I blame him for my coffee addiction.)
We spent our summers eating all the junk food we could possibly want and having water fights on the bumper cars in the pool. I would jump off the diving board, showing him all my cool tricks and he would always give me a round of applause. He was my number one fan.
And then this is what hurt the most. As I grew up, so did he.
He taught me how to drive and would let me practice on the drive to school every morning. Sometimes he would let me stop at McDonald's so we could have breakfast. But my once healthy and active grandaddy started to become sick. He beat cancer three times and faced many other health issues but continued to fight everyday. And I truly believe he continued to fight and hold on for me and my siblings.
My dad and I would bring him dinner every night, spend time with him, and get him to take his medicine which he ALWAYS "forgot" to do. He was in the hospital the night I graduated high school. A huge achievement because at some points, we didn't think I would do it. I was devastated he couldn't be there, but I wanted him to get better.
A few short days later, he was gone. Just like that. My best friend was called to heaven. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around it all, but God needed him more than I did.
Grandparents give the absolute purest form of love. If you still have them, hug them a little tighter. Go and visit them. Tell them how much you love them. They're the greatest gift in the entire world.
And I wish Grandaddy's never died.