Today marks the one year anniversary of the day that I had to say goodbye to one of the most important people in my life. This whole year long, I had been meaning to write something, anything, about him but I just couldn’t bring myself to sit down to do it. It felt too raw. Now that it’s been a year, I feel like we’ve crossed a threshold. All of the firsts without him are behind us. We made it. It’s been hard and not a day goes by that I don’t think of him and miss him, but instead of crying like I did in the beginning, I can smile now.
My Grampy was a really special kind of guy. The kind that always made you feel like you were being scooped up in a hug, just by being around him. He was kind and warm and always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. He was a big kid at heart and you could always tell how much he enjoyed being in the company of his family. He was generous with his time and it seemed like he was always volunteering with one organization or another. He helped run a summer camp for children with cancer, he was heavily involved with his church and the Knights of Columbus and he delivered hot food to people with Meals on Wheels.
His positive attitude and outlook on life is something I’ve really been trying to emulate this past year. I wasn’t always a positive person and watching his fight to the very last day with a smile on his face made me realize how trivial some of my gripes were and how important it is to live life every day with thanks and love in your heart. He continues to inspire me and has given me signs of his presence since his passing which are very hard for me to ignore. The signs always appear when I need a boost or some reassurance, without fail.
I was asked by my grandmother to give a reading at his funeral. I think it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life to get up there in front of a packed full church and not completely crumble and fall apart on the alter. This was his favorite verse and I read it for him.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
–Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
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