There have been many people who had a hand in who I would eventually become... my first grade teacher who taught me my ABCs & 123s, Dept Jeff Davis who told me that I was better than the life I was living and finally got through, and my family. There is one man who no matter what I have done, no matter how angry I made him, no matter how much he just wanted me to calm down and I refused, he has been there rooting me on the entire time. This man is my grandfather...my PaPa... the one who taught me to tie my shoes and the one who took me to the dump every weekend. He is the one who walked me down the aisle and the one whom I have, on more than one occasion, flown halfway around the world to be at his side. He has kissed my boo boos and danced with me at recitals and my own wedding. He is the one I went to on Saturday mornings to cuddle between him and my Grammy;The one who taught me how to count change in the M & M jar. He cuddled with my little girl even though he has no energy left and enjoyed laughing at how silly she was.
There are very few people in this world who I consider my hero, but my grandfather is certainly on that list. He took care of me when I needed him, he gave me a swift kick in the butt when I got out of line, and embraced me when my heart had been broken. This man has kept our family together and ensured that we all had the things that we needed and wanted.
Yet somehow tonight, I find myself losing him. I do not know what that world looks like. A world where my "father" is no longer around seems like a very bleak place to be. The doctors don't know exactly how long it will be but to hear him say, "Katie I am on my last leg," just ripped my heart out. To think that I spent so much of my life rebelling against a man who just wanted what was best for me. To think that I didn't ask about his time in the military enough. I don't know a whole lot about his life, passions, mistakes, etc before I was born.
This man deserves to be respected and he is certainly my very first HERO! I am so grateful for the love, caring, and kindness he has shown me through every day of my life and I am proud to call him PaPa. I look forward to talking about him with my Piper and ensuring that she knows that she comes from a great and noble family who deserves to be honored by doing the right thing.
PaPa, I don't know how long we have but I need you to know that this world will not be the same without you. Just to think of this shatters my heart. We will all be okay but there will always be something missing where our granparents belong. You and Grammy did so much for us and we are all so grateful! We love you!!!! Please watch over me as I try to live my life without you!!!
Because he loved me FIRST!