I’m not a very spiritual person, but I do believe in signs from the universe, particularly when they’re staring you right in the face.
Today is the one year anniversary of my grandfather’s death. Indulge me for a moment while I share a little story.
I was shopping at Aldis this afternoon, and several times walked past an elderly man grocery shopping with his daughter. I thought nothing of it or of him until check out time. I glanced back and there he was at the back of the line, only this time, he was smiling at Caleb. It caught me off guard because in that moment, with that smile on his face, he suddenly looked just like Papa. After that, I looked a bit closer at him and realized he was dressed just like him too, from the hat, to the polo, to the khakis, and all the way down to the white sneakers. I was startled and a little choked up on the drive back home because what are the odds? Maybe it’s a sign, maybe it’s not, but it definitely got me thinking and reflecting on the past year.
It really does seem hard to believe it’s been an entire year since I got that awful phone call early in the morning. We have cycled through all of the seasons, endured a cold winter, and are back squarely in the heat of summer again. Our first set of holidays have passed without him, and I found it odd at every celebration looking through all of the faces and not seeing his there. I half expected to see him pull up at any minute because it just didn’t feel right without him.
I hope we’re all doing him proud. I think we are. In the last year, a lot of good things have happened for all of us grandkids. Just a few examples of things that have happened in this last year: I got a huge promotion at work, my cousin bought her first house and also got promoted, another cousin is working on his PhD, one just graduated from high school. He would have bragged again and again about all of these things… I just know it. I realize that there is a lot to be thankful for, even in the moments of grief and realizations that yep, he’s still gone and it still sucks.
He isn’t physically here, but somehow, I know he’s still here. He’s in the smile of that old man. In our thoughts at all of our parties. On our minds every day, and in our hearts all the time.
One year down and a lifetime to go of missing you, Papa.