Happy birthday, grandpa. I wish I could say that in person. I wish I could give you a hug, kiss that bald head of yours, and watch your eyes smile like they always did.
You were our rock. You were our jokester. You were the storyteller, the voice of reason, the racecar driver, the hook baiter, the boat driver, the donut getter. You were grandpa, and there was no one cooler than grandpa.
You are where all of our stories started.
Today would be your 83rd birthday.
And I would give just about anything to make you a ridiculous cake. Piled high with 83 candles and posing a serious fire hazard, in true grandpa’s birthday tradition.
I would give up quite a bit to sit and eat a piece of that cake with you.
I would spend every dollar I have to sit next to you at the slot machines on your birthday. Even just for a few hours.
I miss you, grandpa.
Losing you was losing someone who was always in our corner. It was losing one of our biggest fans. One of our biggest influences.
It was losing someone who’s wisdom I wish I would have appreciated more. I wish I could sit down and soak in all of your stories one last time. Learn and remember every detail of the journey you took to get where you were. I feel like I never paid enough attention.
I wish I could update you on where I am in my life. I think you would be proud.
Hopefully you already know.
It’s always there, the sadness from losing you. But most days are good. Most days when I think of you I’m filled with happiness and I smile. I can look at your picture and simply reminisce about the amazing grandfather I was blessed with.
But some days aren’t so great… Some days are hard. Some days I think of you and I’m filled with grief and I cry. Some days, I look at pictures of you and I crumble inside.
Some days I miss you a little extra. Today is one of those days.
Grandpa, I miss you a little extra on your birthday.
Celebrating you was always one of my favorite things, because you were so deserving of celebration.
In my eyes, you were the picture of strong, and smart, and kind, and genuine. People just loved you, everyone loved you. And I was lucky enough to call you grandpa.
I wish I could call you up and tell you how lucky I feel. I can’t believe it’s been 2 years since I’ve heard your voice.
I know you lived a long life, a full life. A life full of love and happiness and you built an amazing family in your long full life. But I hear these stories and I see these posts about someone’s grandparents turning 85, 90, 100 even… and I hate myself for feeling resentful. Why didn’t I get that much time?
It will never feel like I got long enough.
I am so glad you got to meet my baby, I only wish he could have known you longer. But I promise to tell him all about you. I promise to teach him to fish. I promise we will watch Jeopardy and old John Wayne movies together. I promise to let him scratch my scratch off tickets and to take him to the casino when he’s old enough. I promise to teach him to never be too serious and to always make a joke if the opportunity is there.
An April Fools Birthday couldn’t have suited you better.
But most of all, Grandpa, I promise to teach him to be humble and to be kind. Because you had the kindest heart I’ve ever known and I pray he inherits that from you. So far, so good. He is a gentle soul, just like you were.
I hope you’re resting easy and that wherever you are… may the fish always be biting and the slot machines always be generous ❤ I love you grandpa.