Marriott Battle

A Year without You

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Dear Grandad, 

it's been a year.

A year ago today, I was woken up at some hour when my mom came into my room. You had been gone for so long, but now you watched as your family began to morn. She opened my door and I started crying. I knew.

So much has happened. Maybe out of everything, your funeral sticks out the most. You would have hated it. Everyone was crying and you almost had to be in a suit for it. Don't worry though, Mom put you in your farm clothes.

I know you were there, just like I know you held my hand while I walked across stage to graduate from the school that almost killed me. Or when I moved into my dorm a the end of summer. I know you were with Grandmom after she came home from the beach the first time without you. And you stayed next to Mom as she dealt with all the legal issues. 

You would have been so proud of all of us.  

Your presence is missed, but not gone. I quote you all the time. I tell people that 'if it hurts when you do that, then don't do that'. I pretend like I'm a doctored I reference that you were the best one I knew. 

I miss having a real doctor in the house, or a father. You were so good at being both. 

You would have loved Zack. He has your sense of humor and he would have loved being called whatever name you make up for your grandchildren's boyfriends. He's from New York like you. He also probably would have laughed at your jokes that you told when the conversation lagged. I miss those jokes. I tell them to myself sometimes to remind me how much I smiled around you.

I wish you were there so Grandmom wouldn't have had so many firsts this year. Christmas was honestly horrifying knowing that the empty place at the table was not going to be filled. Thanksgiving lulled when we all sat back and thought of the knowledge we missed from you. I wasn't there for Valentine's Day, but I know mom took care of your girl.

Your legacy is fine though. Your children are taking care of the beach and we might finally get rid of the horrible furniture the house came with. Plus, I can raid both yours and Grandmom's closets now, so your house is still in order. In fact, I'm wearing your shirt today. It feels like you're with me when I do. 

Gosh, I miss you. 

I wish you could have seen Grandmom this year. I know you're watching us, but being in the presence of that woman is a gift in and of itself. She's so brave, but so lost without you. 

She made your favorite cake for your birthday this year. She made two, actually. And Lindley had some. You know how much of an impact you made when your birthday causes Lindley to eat. 

I wish you were here.

After the visitation, we went to Lindley's house. All of us. You would have smiled the whole time. I can't tell you what we talked about, but I know that we laughed a lot. After standing for four hours thirty feet away from your uninhabited body, I can't believe we were able to laugh. It's what you wanted, a whole family. 

But yeah, we're all in one piece. A little broken and bruised. But we'll be fine. 

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You are so stubborn. You were fine for a year. You were more healthy than my sixty year old father. And then you gave up. For that last week, I don't know how you survived. But we knew that it was the longest week you've ever had. We knew how much you hated not being able to crack jokes or drink one of your horrible beers. You being in bed was killing you more than the cancer. 

I know you were there that night. You saw as Grandmom got into her bed at the end of the day, feeling like she'd forgotten something, but knowing she was just missing your goodnight kiss for the first time ever. You saw as I melted into a mess onstage and bowed for the last time, looking up at you. You were with my mom as she drove to the house at four am and called everyone who needed to be called.

You were there and you still are. 

But I still miss you so much.

I know you're proud of us. I know if you could, you would give us one more hug, or talk to us one more time about all that the Lord has promised for us. Thank you for loving everyone in your family much more than we ever thought we could be loved. Thank you for leaving a legacy for us through the farm and beach house. Thank you for raising my best friend and mother. 

Thank you Granddad.

Love, your granddaughter

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