well "grandpa" jim,
words are hard right now, but i want you to know that you are missed. with every bit of my being. with all of my heart.
i hear your laugh and see your big grin in my mind throughout the day and i can't help but smile. but then my heart sinks because you're gone and i can't pick up the phone to call you. i won't see your name pop up on my phone after anymore carolina losses or wolfpack wins.
you've only been gone a week, but my heart misses you in the biggest of ways. you were one of my best fans. you stood in my corner. you prayed for me. you teased me. and you cheered me on in each new adventure. you loved me well with that big 'ol heart of yours. you told the best stories and i loved the way you paused to make sure everyone was listening for the punch line even though we'd heard the story a hundred times. you were joy, delight, grace, kindness, welcome, belonging, gentleness, honesty, integrity, and love in human form. you made your little piece of this earth a better place and your presence is so very missed.
i know where you are now and i know all the things to say to make myself feel better about you being gone, but frankly it still sucks. it just hurts. i want one more hug and kiss from you. it was all so sudden. i didn't get a chance to say goodbye. i didn't know my birthday was the last time we'd be together. if so, i would've kept you there for a just a few more stories and laughs.
what i want is for you to whip open your jacket with your big goofy grin to reveal a wolfpack pin or the trusty red gel pen you always kept in your pocket. i want you to thank me for my "missionary work" at UNC. no one teased me quite as lovingly as you and my sundays in asheville just won't be the same without you there. on that note, i think you'd be proud of me for not yelling "go heels" during your memorial service on sunday. i mustered every bit of self-control i could and managed to sit quietly amidst all the wolfpack talk.
all that to say, i'll be okay. it's just going to hurt (a lot) for a while because of how much you meant to me. i dared to love deeply and as a result i'm going to hurt deeply. it was worth it, but that doesn't make it any easier. a friend of mine posted this phrase recently and it is oh so true...
sometimes memories sneak out of my eyes and roll down my cheeks
i love you "grandpa" jim and i'll see you again one day. until then, i'll do my best to make you proud and cheer my tar heels on to more victories than your wolfpack.
live unashamedly :: laugh uncontrollably :: love unconditionally