Now, we all knew that day would come aaaand I’m sure that in some way I should have been preparing myself for it, but it blew me away. Like a brick to my chest. The same way I felt when I got the call that Auntie had died- she was really old- and I still couldn’t believe it.
When Trish told me about St. Baldrick’s and her plan to shave her hair to raise awareness for pediatric cancer, I knew I had to be a part of it. Cancer has affected our family in so many ways- I guess we’re just lucky like that. When I found out about Layla Grace and Maddie, I just thought Dear God- I can’t even imagine a doctor telling me that my sweet little Cadence has cancer.
People expect older people, in time, to die- but to find out that your own child is dying? I can’t fathom. I knew I would do it in honor of you… after all, it’s just hair- who cares. Losing you to cancer was hard for our family, you were our Patriarch. If there was a cure for cancer, you may still be here.
I really didn’t think it would have hit me so hard- you know? Shaving my hair. After I was done and Chris and I got in the car, I cried and cried and cried. Today is the day. It’s your day that we honor you. If there were no you, there would be no me.
You weren’t the most sentimental Grandpa, but you were funny as hell. Remember how you used to hide sweets in your kitchen cabinet? It was usually Entenmann’s pound cake or glazed popems. You knew you shouldn’t have been eating that stuff with your diabetes being as bad as it was. You would crush the boxes and put it at the bottom of your garbage so Auntie Les wouldn’t find it and give you a lecture about your health. I was in Elementary school, so I didn’t know any better and as long as you let me have a few, I’d keep my mouth shut.
Remember when you lined us all up (all of the cousins) and said “hol’ out yu han’” in your heavy Jamaican accent and slapped all of us with the belt on the hand- who knows what we did- but clearly something we shouldn’t have been doing.
I remember the ice cream truck coming around- but knew better than to ask you for even a dollar…. you were a tight wad and so funny about it too. “I doan have ah dime!” Oookay grandpa- whatever you say.
You are in pretty much every memory I have from Elementary School since all of the cousins waited at your house after school to be picked up by our parents.
I know you are out of pain. I am glad that you accepted the Lord as your Savior before you passed. I know you are in heaven looking down on our family. I hope that you are proud of us.
Helping Mommy find a white candle
They say you can light a white candle in memory
of someone who has passed on…
For you Grandpa.
We miss you.
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