'Tis the season...

to miss those who aren't here with me. There are some people in my life that I'll never want to let go of...even if it's just memories of them that I have to hold onto! During the holidays, I am reminded of those not here with me.

Thanksgiving always seems to be the hardest for me. I walk by the chair at the end of my Uncle Matt's table where my grampy always sat and I want him to be there and grab my hand. I want him to tell me one more time that he's loved me forever and he'll love me for always. I want to hear his voice and have my hand enveloped in his big, bear paw. I want to sit on his lap again or be held in his arms. Even in the last years of his life, he was still the one I loved above all others.

I remember a few years before he passed away he was very weak after a stroke and was diagnosed with congenital heart failure. That made his breathing very labored and him very tired from the lack of oxygenation in his blood. My Aunt Mary and I went up to see him at the nursing home. He wasn't very responsive; he slept a lot during the time we were there. I was sitting next to him holding his hand and crying. I wasn't ready for him to die then or when he did, as it turns out. As my Uncle Matt would say, "Would you ever have been ready?" Um, NO!

My aunt left the room to go talk to the nurse. I climbed up into the bed next to my grampy. I put my hand is his big, bear paw and he squeezed my hand. I laid my head on his shoulder and I begged him not to leave me. I begged him to keep fighting as the tears slipped down my cheeks. I told him to wait for me when he gets to heaven. He said that if they let him in, he'd be there. I asked him to find a bench by the duckie pond and I'd find him there when I go there. When he did die a few years later, I wasn't there. I didn't get to say good-bye. The last time I had seen him was weeks before he passed away...at the holidays. It's never easy to say good-bye. It's never easy to be filled with things you would have forever that are just memories. I am thankful to have the wonderful memories I do, but I would much rather have the person whom I miss here with me!

Love you, grampy! I've loved you forever, I'll love you for always!

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