Today would have been my grandfathers birthday. Always one day before mine. Always a shared, “happy birthday!” to one another…. When we were together, a shared cake or at least a shared happy birthday song. It feels like so long ago. It feels like those memories are so far back that I can barely reach them. They are vivid, but they are behind glass. Almost like when there is a character in a movie watching something taking place with them there… well, like they’re revisiting their past and watching a memory. I want to reach out. I want to grab for him, to hold him, to never let him go. My grandfather will not be celebrating his birthday today. My grandfather is no longer here to do that.
The thought of how young he was when he died burns a painful hole in my throat and makes me so sad that it is hard to swallow. My grandfather died in 2004. He was most worried that when he died everyone would forget about him. It hurts to know that. I want him to know that here, 8 years later, I am sitting at my computer, crying, writing about him on his birthday (on a blog- something alien to him), remembering each last laugh I had with him and the way his voice sounded. The way he said my name and the way he always called me beautiful. He was so proud. So proud of me, of our family, of what he had helped create. There was nothing but love in his heart. This is the love that my heart is flooded with. Each and everyday I feel the love that he taught me.
He died from cancer. Lung cancer. Lung cancer from smoking cigarettes. If you are one of my friends and you smoke, have smoked, or talk about smoking, you have probably witnessed one of my many breakdowns. Holy cow, the amount of breakdowns I’ve had. They were only out of love. Love for my friends and love for my friends families. Thank you for putting up with them. A lot of them probably happened under the influence of alcohol. That’s when my head lets my heart break down. When my mind tells my heart that it can’t be strong enough because I have abused it too much at the moment to use thinking in a logical, normal, and functioning human adult way (ok this is kind of a stretch we all know I’m a little …askew? I don’t know if that word works for describing peoples existence, but I make my own rules here. It’s my effing blog.)… the only thing is, I don’t regret it. I hope that my tears change people. I do. I hope that they see the true hurt, and love, and sincerity behind my eyes. That I’ve seen something they haven’t.
P.S. Sorry to whomever at the bar whose cigarettes I pulverized. I have no idea who you are, but I woke up to pocket full of crushed cigarettes. I’m not really sorry about your cigarettes… I’m sorry you wasted 6 dollars really. I am proud that I am still a member of the anti-nicotine army when I’m 3 sheets to the wind. Allllllso to the guy whose I snapped in half while it was in his mouth. One day somebody will probably kick my ass for you.
That leaves me here- Anger in my heart… determination in my veins. Let us speak out. Lets fight cancer together. Lets change peoples lives for the better and save their loved one while there is still a beat to their heart. This is not me being dramatic. This is passion.
I have designed these, laser cut pendants, in honor of my grandfather. I remember him cursing like a sailor all through my younger years so I’m gunna tell myself he’d find great love and humor in these pieces. Each will be turned into a necklace/keychain and sold- all profit to cancer research in the name of your loved one. I should be receiving the pieces this month and I have ordered them in an amazing variety of colors.
This is for him. For her. For breast cancer, lung cancer, colon… this is for everyone who knows how this hurt feels. Most of all, this is in hope that he truly knew that no one could ever forget him. That no man filled to that degree with that much love for his family could ever be erased from any of our memories.
Happy Birthday Grandpa.