I just realized that its been about a year since we first learned that my Grandpa had cancer. Last Thanksgiving I remember thinking that it could be the last one we would have with him. And surely, it was. He passed away that February.
Years ago on Thanksgiving, we went around the table with everyone saying what they were thankful for. I think it was the first and only time we did that. I remember my Gramp saying, "Just that I'm alive." We all got choked up on that one. I wonder if he could ever have dreamed about when and how he would go.
I'm so glad he isn't in pain anymore, but I'm feeling melancholy for those of us left behind. I can't imagine not spending Thanksgiving with him. I spent every Thanksgiving for years and years with him. He was the constant. He was quiet and spent much of the time watching some sort of sports game that was turned up way too loud, but he was there just the same.
This year I decided to forego Thanksgiving and planned a trip down south to Knott's Berry Farm and Disneyland. Part of me just didn't want to be around here doing the same thing, but without him. And sweetly, my aunt and uncle have invited me to their house for Thanksgiving and I'm really looking forward to it. Thanksgiving with a big family sounds just like what the doctor ordered.
Life is always changing, sometimes for the good, sometimes the not so good. I can't believe how the earth keeps spinning, people keep living, even when we are in the midst of our own turmoil. I remember when Grandpa was first gone, I could not believe the audacity that people still did what people do...go to work, be snarky, live...when I was in the midst of personal tragedy. I remember feeling like an alien, transported to some alternate universe. The incessant chatter of others droned on my nerves.
But somehow, I came out on the other side. No matter what you may think when faced with disaster, time somehow does heal all wounds, or lessens the pain at least. Sometimes I just want to live in the pain, remembering, feeling the hurt so as not to forget. Yet the pain eases. Life goes on. More obstacles fall into my path, forcing me to strategize a way around them.
So here's to you, Grandpa. I hope you know how much you are still missed and loved.
Always in my heart...