I’ve always thought I’ve been good with words. From professional diction in an essay to casual slang on the street (okay, maybe not so much this one), I’ve never struggled to say exactly what I wanted to say. But sometimes things happen that can’t really be expressed in a single thought or series of characters or emojis or GIFs.
My grandfather was old, there’s definitely no denying that, and I’ve watched his decline through my high school years. Yet, as such a hopeless optimist and lover of all things family, I never really thought the day would come where I wouldn’t be able to bring over a chocolate chip cookie and tell him about my latest academic achievement.
While the pain of losing someone is intense and new, the pain of knowing he left so many people who love him hurts more. There’s a part of me that wants to fill every hole he left in someone’s life– husband, father, grandfather, friend- but I think his memory and influence will do more good than an overemotional 18 year old trying to be her Dad’s dad.
I want to keep this short and sweet and take time to live in the memories I have with him. I was so gifted to have him around for my bat mitzvah, to hear about my graduation, and to watch me grow and mature. My favorite moment I shared with him was the day before I left for college, sitting at the wooden table in the nursing home. My father and I both had tears in my eyes as we realized I was really leaving the following day, and my Grandpa looked so proud. He couldn’t express anything, but I knew. He was so proud of me. And it was such an amazing feeling.
No one wants to admit the positives in death, and in this second I don’t want to either. But staying true to my everything-happens-for-a-reason spirit, I know that all change comes with lessons and love. I am inspired to preserve my relationships with everyone, forgive and forget, because life is short but love lasts so long. Undoubtedly, the best thing I got from my Grandpa was definitely my Dad. Good job Gramps, you raised a pretty good one.
So, enjoy the afterlife, Zaida (super jew term for Grandpa). I hope there’s tons of cookies and cakes, and a giant flatscreen with a massage chair so you can watch the world in comfort & style. Oh, hey and if you want to like write a letter and tell us what it’s like you can probably clear up a lot of mysteries and rumors down here and they’ll probably make a movie about you. I will personally fight to have Zac Efron play you. It will no doubt be Oscar worthy.
But in all sincerity, I really believe that each person in your life shapes your character. Thank you for making me who I am today. I know you’re proud, and honestly so am I.
Stuck in my head: Anna Sun // Walk the Moon
Snap it: Airplane over somewhere, Florida