A year ago today, I lost a hero.
He was and still is an amazing man who continues to touch the lives of all who knew him and who hear of him.
He had this way to make all of his children and grandchildren feel special in their own way.
Any of the girls in my family will agree with me that he loved to tease us in the kindest way...
"Boy, you sure are beautiful, now make sure you don't miss out on any of your beauty sleep!"
So many phrases. So many hugs.
Just not enough.
My mom called him papason.
He loved that.
He had a knack for showing up on time 2 hours early for every family even we ever hosted. 99.99% of the time mom and I would not be even remotely ready and it would frustrate the hell out of us. But he was so helpful mashing our potatoes.
I think I mentioned how he made everyone feel special? right?
Well, he really did.
I heard stories at the funeral home from people I'd never even heard of that said that my Grandfather had a tremendous impact on their lives. He left HUGE shoes to fill, and I'm fairly certain is going to take my entire family to fill them. We will do it. It is in our blood, because of him.
I miss him dearly and wish I had spent more time with him and still could spend more time with him.
My head really isn't clear today. I haven't been able to shake this overwhelming sense of sadness. My heart aches with the loss of my hero.
He was a soldier.
That's how he met my Grandma.
They met on a train.
Wrote letters while he was over seas.
And married when he got home.
5 Children and 11 Grandchildren later he lead a beautiful existence with his wonderful wife.
He had a fairytale romance that stayed till the very end.
I was told all he was worrying about the night before was 'ma'.
It is enough to make anyone cry.
As I lay here typing this and carefully wiping away my tears of joy and sadness, I want to celebrate his life. I'm still trying to figure out how, but I will continue to do so every day until the day I get to see him again.
There are so many stories to tell. So many 'words to the wise' that I would love to share with you. I will someday. I have to compile my list first.
For now, I'm going to drift off into dreamland and hope I get to see him and take a walk with him in my dream. Those are really my favorite dreams.
I love you Grandpa T.
I'll miss you everyday until I see you again.