Open Letter To My Grandfather

Well I never called you grandpa, I called you Bobby gramps. I always felt something special because I had something no one else did, I had my very own Bobby gramps. I never had an actual grandfather but with you… with you I had someone who was like a grandfather to me, but I was allowed to call you outrageous names and that just added to your charm. It’s taken me a little while to process what has happened. So now I’m here writing this letter because I think it’s something you’d encourage me to do, to write through my grief and to write and to do anything even mildly educational, so here it goes.

 I want to say thank you, thank you for every long talk you had with me about politics, family and for always being interested in my ideas and my opinions. I’ll miss that more than anything. The moments you and I would obnoxiously sing along to Billy Joel’s “Piano Man.” The world is too big and too loud, and you were big and loud but you listened. You made a difference to me, you gave me a shelter during an important transition, and you gave me a listening ear to learn my facts, and speak my truth. You gave me the encouragement I needed to not let the world drown out my ideas, and a push I needed to start a role in CNN at the time. I feel so guilty that I didn’t bring around those last boxes of Doral cigarettes that you wanted. Truth is, I would’ve probably gone to jail from sneaking those into hospice. I know you wouldn’t blame me, you would say I was busy and it’s alright but I know how happy it would’ve made you. 

Your entire family is out of state. I’m going to miss your rants about their inexplicable grieving process. Truth is, they killed you fifteen years ago. From your very own sons, brothers and sisters. It’s a feeling I cannot fathom. Truth is, no one in this side of the family could relate to you as much as I did. I’m going to miss that. You called me more than a grandson. You called me your best buddy. You called me your son. What I wasn’t able to deal with for my very own father two years ago, I did with you. I was with you when you took your last breath. And that makes my heart happy. 

I also want to thank you for making my grandmother and my family so happy, so full of laughter. I can’t remember many times that I entered Grandma’s house and there wasn’t laughter when you were there. You had that smirk that made people laugh just by looking at it. Well, that coupled with your shitty jokes always did the trick. I miss that too, the way Grandma’s eyes used to roll up when you screamed something outrageous. I think that’s where the biggest hole is now, not in the empty place where you used to sit or the spot where your car used to be parked in the driveway, but you’re missing in our laughter. Thank you for those times, for the times where laughing was more prominent than breathing, and for the times when our smiles were brighter than the shine on your huge forehead (that joke is for you, I know you’re laughing at it in Heaven). 

There’s one more thing. I want to thank you for marrying into this and being a part of our family. You helped out each and every single one of us when you didn’t have to do so. Thank you for being our grandfather, thank you for being Grandma’s fiancée/husband/everything. You gave her life again. I know you’re happy and safe where you are, that you aren’t sick or hurting anymore, and I’m thankful for that too. We will watch out for Grandma, or “mama” as you’d call her. I know you’d worry about that, but we’ve got her.

I guess that’s everything, thank you for being a part of all of our lives. I know we will see you again.

Love you gramps, see you soon, Rest in paradise. 

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