Dear Grandad,

31 Dec

A few weeks ago they brought you into hospital, saying you only had 24 hours to live, but you proved them wrong. Time had turned against you and your body wasn’t responding to the treatment they were giving you. Yesterday the doctors told us that they will be stopping your treatment. It seems this would be your last visit to the hospital.  I didn’t know what to say when you were still awake, I wasn’t sure if you’d hear me, but I hope you were able to hear me when I held your hand. Its only when its too late do you realise all of the things you should have said, and even then, I don’t think there is enough words.  Because of your strength the nurses thought you will be ok and didn’t let us all stay the night last night.

This morning you passed away, I wasn’t there, I missed you and didn’t get to tell you how grateful I am. I don’t know if I believe that this message will ever get to you, but I will just have to hope.

First of all I want to tell you that I love you with all my heart and I’m sorry I didn’t tell you enough in recent years. I will miss the way you always have that cute grin on your face, with that little chuckle, the slight shuffle when you walk, the dramatic stories of your youth and your love of the word “suddenly”.
You are my one and only grandad, and that makes you more special than DNA. Those other men couldn’t hold a light to you, and I don’t care what anyone says you earned the name and made anyone else unworthy. For that I want to thank you, I want to thank you for being my grandad.  Thank you for letting me be your princess, your fifi. I never told you that am I grateful for all you done for me when you didn’t have to. You were the one who’d come pick me up from school when I felt ill, you took me on all the little holidays that you and granny went on, you spoilt me with little shopping trips, you made me laugh. Even after granny passed away, you still always remembered my birthday, came to visit and brought me a present every year, even after all the hassle everyone gave you after her death. I know you loved her dearly, and I want to thank you for taking care of her through those difficult years, and thank you for accommodating me so that I was able to stay with her even when she was ill. If there is an afterlife, I hope that you can finally be reunited and be with her now.
I’ll always remember the trips in your car, playing the radio, your glasses, the secret tin of weathers originals in the glove box, the picture of Saint Padre Pio on the dashboard and the distinct smell of your cigars.

There are some years that we can never get back, but I’m glad for the time we have had. In recent years I want to thank you for being proud of me and my achievements, even when you were struggling to walk, you came on a 3 hour journey to come watch me graduate. It makes me happy to know that you were proud of me, that you always told people about me and even that you thought I was a good cook. Thank you for being protective over me and always giving me advise about money, work and putting men in their place. Thank you for believing in me. I’ll always remember how you told me to not take nonsense from anyone, and if a man ever thinks he can mistreat me I’ll remember how you said you would use all your strength to give him a punch, whilst throwing your fist in the air.
I’m sorry I didn’t visit more often than I should have, I’m sorry for every moment you ever felt lonely. I’m sorry that I didn’t talk enough when I visited, I’ll miss the way you loved to chat away. I’m sorry I didn’t do more for you.

Seeing you over the last few weeks has been difficult, the quiet replaced the chatter, the weak movements replaced your active gestures. It’s a hard thing to accept but I’m glad you don’t have to suffer through that pain anymore. I’ll remember you with that cute grin on your face, the little chuckle watching “Carry On” films or “Columbo” programmes, the slight shuffle when you walk and the heroic tales of your youth, telling people to “get aat’ve it!” and your love of the word “suddenly”. Most of all I will remember you as the man that takes a special place in my heart as my grandad.

Love you and Miss you,

Princess x

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