Today marks 15 years since my grandfather’s death (I called him P-Pa). I’ve been thinking about him today and decided to share my love letter to him.
On March 4, 2001 I sat at your bedside and held your soft, warm hand as you transitioned from life into eternity. It was such a privilege to have those last moments alone with you. I remember pleading with God to allow you to stay with me and then slowly accepting what was happening. Then I began to thank you for all you invested in me.
We had such a special relationship. Mom has always called it a love affair. Grandma said I was her only competition.
When you died I was at what I thought was the lowest point in my life. You were encouraging me just days before…and then I got that horrible call. I rushed to Mississippi from Atlanta. I made it in time to have those last sweet moments. I think you waited for me.
But just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, I sank deeper.
I hated myself at the time and I felt like the one person who loved me most had been snatched away. It has taken me years to recover from that time in my life. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but I began to be whole again.
I miss you terribly. There are so many times that I wish I could call and talk to you. You just “got” me when it seemed like no one else did (I don’t know that anyone else has 😉). You gave me such confidence and made me feel so safe and so loved.
But I am grateful that you are now one of the ancestors…one of my angels. As my life continues to unfold, I see how the purpose to which God called you and Grandma extended far beyond you. He even orchestrated bringing Mom into your life…sometimes I think that was just to make sure that your heart was passed on to me. I draw strength from you daily. I want nothing more than to make you proud.
I commit today and every day to doing exactly what you did…to being unapologetic in my love for my people and to being as stubborn as possible in the pursuit of the best as it relates to our education. Maybe that’s why I pushed so hard today. You left me with no shortage of work to do!
Thank you for teaching me what love is. I refuse to settle for anything less than the model you gave.
Thank you for the legacy that you left me. I am grateful that, through me, you continue to live.
Now as for these folks you left me with…we’ll have to discuss that when we meet again. I love ’em, but they are CRAZY! I’m trying to keep them all straight, though. That hasn’t changed.
We love and miss you always!