Grandpa Juan

It’s been over two months since my last post on February 15th. I last wrote about having a few months left with my Grandpa. How tragically optimistic of me.

The reality was only about two weeks. Grandpa passed away on March 16th, at home surrounded by loved ones. I say we only had two weeks after my last post because towards the end, it was rough. He wasn’t Grandpa anymore.

My fingers are shaking as I type this and I can barely see through my tears. But I have waited so long to get this all down in words that I cannot bring myself to stop now.

I said goodbye to him on March 15th and it was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. He was laying in his bed and my Mom, who was sitting next to him on the bed, called me over. I stood at the side of the bed and leaned in to kiss that bald head of his, just like I’ve done every time I have said hi to him in the last thirty years. Mom announced to him that it was me. He opened his tired eyes and looked up at me long enough to recognize who I was. Then, the most wonderful thing, he somehow found the strength to lift up his hand towards mine, in a gesture asking me to hold it. So I did. For about ten minutes, we held hands. My aunt eventually asked him a question that upset him and he let go, but it didn’t matter. He asked for my hand and let me say goodbye to him. This after a week of telling people to leave him alone. Ha. Oh, grandpa.

I miss him, of course. I want him back.

I feel so stuck because I don’t know what to do with this loss. How do I honor him? How can I live my life in such a way that would be a tribute to him? Where do I apply all the wonderful lessons I learned from him?

Work hard. Love my family. Keep my sense of humor.

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Rest peacefully, you amazing man. I will tell stories about you, love you, and miss you for as long as I live.

Por siempre, Prieta.

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