Dear Grandpa Jones,
It's that time of year again. Our birthdays one right after the other. Two and a half years exactly have gone by without you in my life (earthly you, of course). It's getting a bit easier now. I didn't bawl my eyes out yet today. Tomorrow will be my third birthday without you. I couldn't believe it when I turned eighteen and you weren't there. Your birthday that year was really rough for me.
Each new milestone I make, I can see you somewhere in the background. You've been there in your own way, watching over me. I sincerely believe in that. Remember all those owls I saw and heard this summer? I knew you were watching me grow at Bristol. I knew it was the right place for me to be the minute I heard that owl hooting on my first rehearsal day. I remember wearing a gold chain that belonged to you for my graduation day.
I guess I'm going to have to come to terms with the fact that you won't be here for some of my life events that I was looking forward to having you here for. The one that is still painful to think about is the fact you won't be at my eventual wedding. I'm still working through that one, that's maybe the biggest disappointment I have to work through.
I was listening to the song Time Heals Everything, sung by Bernadette Peters. I know you really liked her voice. I like her voice too.
As time has gone on without you, I've come to realize how true the song is. At first I was just counting the days without you. One week, two weeks, a month, September, November, our Birthdays, Christmas, etc. Then somehow a year rolled around and I found that while I still missed you with a tangible ache, the grief was slowly getting less. I say slowly because there are still times when the impact hits me just as hard as it did when my dad told me you had died and all I want to do is to curl up into a ball and cry.
Somehow it gets easier. Now I still have moments where missing you is unbearable. One day at Bristol I couldn't face the fact that you weren't going to be there. Suddenly everywhere I went I saw owls at the faire. Every time I hear a southern accent I think about you, I still need to practice mine.
I've learned that these things just take time. I hate that these things take time, but I don't want to rush this either. It wouldn't be fair to my memories of you.
I remember sitting on your lap in your chair, feeling very important.
I remember sharing our birthdays and blowing out the candles on the cake.
I remember going to the zoo with you and Grandma. You loved the zoo.
I remember playing at your carving desk, drawing pictures.
I remember sitting in the high chair at your house.
I remember you voice when you called "hey beautiful."
I remember your scratchy beard.
I remember your gold eagle necklace, I never asked you what it meant, I wish I had.
I remember you watching the nature specials on TV.
I remember your eyes sparkling when your face crinkled up in a smile.
Time will heal everything, but loving you.