On this day one year ago I said my final goodbye to my grandfather (Pa), and my heart has hurt ever since. Some days it is because I miss being able to go downstairs and talk to him. Other days it is because my heart is so full of love for the memories that I have with him that I will hold close for the rest of my life.
The hardest days are when those two emotions collide because something important is happening. This could be anything from having a big presentation in a class, or graduating from School of Style. Luckily I still have my grandma and the rest of my family to share this news with, but there is just something about not having Pa there with a story to relate to my situation. Anyone who knew him knows his love of story telling, and how he has a story for anything and everything. Luckily for us, Pa drilled all of his stories into his family members heads so we will never forget them!
My favorite Pa story is probably about his time in a public speaking class. Any time I was nervous about an upcoming speech I would go to his kitchen table just to rehear the story of his success in overcoming his fear of public speaking by studying the text book, collaborating with his classmates and simply finding the courage to stand up in front of the class. Although this may not be the most groundbreaking story, it is something I will think about for the rest of my life every time I stand in front of a crowd. He may not be able to ever tell me the story again, but it is just one of the many memories filling up my heart.
I genuinely hope that none of you feel the pain of loosing a loved one right now, but if you do, take that pain and turn it into a burning passion to do the best you can do because they know you can do it. If you ever need the motivation to just keep going, make your family and friends proud because they are rooting you on and helping you along from the other side and by your side. Making Pa and the rest of my family proud is a large part of what has pushed to to succeed over this last year.
With my college graduation next week and the next big step in my life just around the corner, all I have of him are my memories which will be a significant part of my future success in life. Everything I do, I will do with his stories in mind, no matter how ridiculous some of them are!
The best part about all of this is that I still have an amazing support system of friends and family that are just a call or flight of stairs away. Although it hurts knowing I don’t have Pa waiting for me at the kitchen table anymore, I know he is my guardian angel supporting me through life. That, today specifically, is the dot in my .com.