The time had come to say goodbye to my grandpa.
I knew it was coming.
I thought I was ready.
When I hugged and kissed him goodbye that summer, I told him I’d see him the next summer.
I worried every winter that he wouldn’t make it through, but he always proved me wrong.
Not this time.
I packed a suitcase for Ellie and I. I was worried that Ellie, who wasn’t 3 yet, was going to be in the way. I was worried about how she would handle the memorial. I wish I knew then I had nothing to worry about.
Mike dropped us off at the airport again apologizing for not being able to come with us. I hugged him and told him to stop worrying about it, that we’d be fine.
While sitting on the plane Ellie and I talked about the time she spent with her Great Grandpa. She’d “play” the piano while he’d sing along. I told her about how when I was a little girl he’d play the guitar and sing to me. I told her about how he’d always call me “Treesa Me Me”. We laughed and giggled almost the whole flight.
When we finally landed in Pittsburgh she was done. She slept the entire 90 minutes ride to Windber. I spent the entire 90 minutes reliving my childhood memories of my Grandpa.
The next morning we went over for a quick visit with my other Grandpa and let Ellie run around and play. It reminded me how lucky she is that she got to meet and make memories with at least some of her great grandparents.
We made our way over to my Grandmothers. The tiny house was packed full of people. I knew all the faces well. Some of them a little older, but all of them part of my family.
Ellie walked through the house looking at all the faces and in all the rooms. Someone was missing.
That’s when she utter the words that brought the whole house to tears.
Had I not told her? With all the talking we did on the airplane, did I really not tell her that Great Grandpa would not be there? Did I really forget to tell her that he had died?
I tried to explain, but I don’t think I did a very good job.
After the Memorial it was back to Grandma’s house where we spent the evening laughing, shed a few tears and told story after story. The perfect way to remember this Man…
Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather
Ellie’s Great Grandpa…
That night it snowed biggest snowflakes I’ve ever seen.