As I sit here and look at the clock in the corner of my computer screen, that most dreaded hour creeps closer and closer. It's hard to believe that in just a few short hours it will be officially a year since I got that phone call telling me that you had been taken to be with your brother, parents and grand children and great grandchildren that no one got to meet. It was hard to wake up that morning a year ago to hear that phone ringing. As soon as I heard the phone and it registered that it was ringing I knew why it was ringing at 4:30 in the morning. You were gone and you were finally at peace.
We'd lost you years ago when the Alzheimer's took over. No longer were you the strong man we all looked to to lead our family. You were no longer the man you once were who would take your grandchildren out on the boat for the day fishing on the lake. All that was there when we looked at you were the memories of times gone by.
As a little girl I looked to you as an inspiration and a hero. You were my grandpa that I loved with all that I was. You were there for me when I needed you.
That morning a year ago, it was so hard to sit and watch your children cry, and all I could do was go and get food for everyone while they took care of making the arrangements. When the Monday came and we all met in the Funeral home and I saw you looking as though you were sleeping it made me smile just a little knowing you weren't suffering through it anymore. Though seeing you with a clean shaven face and with the weight loss you'd suffered you also didn't look like my grandfather, the man I remembered with the grey mustache just above that lip and how it would tickle everytime I kissed you good-bye.
Your funeral came that following Tuesday and as I sat there in the church listening I stared at the closed coffin, tears streaming down my face as I used almost a box of Kleenex surrounded by your family and friend's. Wishing we hadn't needed to say good bye but knowing it was best for you, knowing that you were now watching over all of us and fishing everyday as you looked down on us from your perch in the clouds.
As I sit here writing this I'm reminded of something my mom told me that Alex had said once as they drove passed grandma's house:
"Grandma I'm going to get a ladder and make it go to heaven so you and nanny and I can go and see papa when he's there." He of course was four at the time and didn't understand everything.
I sit here and feel the sting of the tears as they build once again behind my eyes just as they did that morning 365 days ago. I think of how now you are probably fishing and teaching my unborn child that I never got to meet to fish, just as you did me. And giving him the love that I had wanted for him.
Good bye grandpa. I love you and still have an ache in my heart everytime I think of you.