A close friend of mine mentioned a few weeks ago that one of her cousins compiled a book based off all the stories of her relatives. In it, each of their memories, their words, and their lives were immortalized, forever remembered by their descendants.
This morning, I remembered that again. My grandfather passed away, and I realized that there were so many stories he could have told that I could have written down. There was so much history behind those blue eyes, so many tales behind his rough exterior. And I, jaded and afraid, never stepped forward to ask.
It is hard writing this, knowing that I will never again go RVing with him. I will never hold that wrinkled hand as we sit around Thanksgiving dinner, bickering about which prayer to pray and whether cranberry salsa or cranberry jam is better. I will never again watch Nascar with him, or hear his deep chuckle, or listen to him lecture me about school. And what’s worse, I never got to say good-bye.
I have so many regrets from the past few days, let alone the last few years. There are so many things I should have told him, so many times I should have told him I loved him. There were so many times I should have taken M to visit, should have had our family spend more time with them. He’s the only grandfather I’ve ever really known, and I wasted my time.
If you have grandparents out there, send them a note. Write them a memory you love. Tell them how you feel. Send them a picture. Ask them a question. But do not waste this time. I didn’t realize just how close I was to losing him. He’s always been so strong, so determined to live. Don’t make my mistake. Don’t let someone you love slip away.
I don’t know what else to say, honestly. I’m still not sure I believe it. So, for now, this is is. I love you, Granddad. I’ll see you in heaven.