First and foremost, thank you for everything that you’ve done for each and every one of us. There are countless times that come to mind where I’m truly unsure what we would have done without you. You were always there, and never once gave up on us.
I’m sorry that I wasn’t there more over the last couple of years like I should have been. If I could go back in time and change that, please know that I would; without a doubt.
You have single-handedly made the greatest impact on my life growing up. Although you are biologically my grandfather, you were always more than that for me. You helped to raise me into the woman that I am today, and I’m beyond grateful for your role in my upbringing. You were more my father than anyone else ever could’ve been.
When I got married, you were there, supporting and loving me. When I had my son, you were disappointed due to knowing how difficult it would be as a young parent, but you never gave up on me. You kept me grounded and level-headed. You loved, accepted, and helped to raise my sweet boy, and I truly hope he grows up to follow in your footsteps. The two of you were inseparable; the best of friends. I’m so thankful for the bond you two had with one another.
You supported me through my divorce, and reassured me that it was the best possible decision, for myself and my baby boy. There was so much love and strength in your voice. I don’t know how I would’ve made it through what I had without you.
If only I could’ve been there for you like you have been for me, maybe I wouldn’t feel as guilty as I do today. You weren’t the type to ask for help, or allow help. You didn’t like to feel like someone else’s burden, but you were never that. For any of us.
As difficult as it was, I’m incredibly grateful to have been by your side during your last moments (even though I didn’t realize it at the time). I don’t think I ever would’ve forgiven myself if I hadn’t been there with you. Losing you was something I never could’ve prepared myself for, but I never actually imagined having to. I thought we’d have so much more time together, but life doesn’t always work out as we planned, unfortunately.
Your passing hasn’t been easy for anyone in our family. Mom is still living in your house, alone, and I couldn’t possibly imagine having to do that. My heart breaks for her. Garrett, M’Kayla, and I haven’t talked much about it since then, but I think we’re each just trying to make our way through this life without you the best way that we can.
Nothing has been the same without you here, and I wish we didn’t have to live this way, but I will always try my best to make you proud of who you helped raise. I’ll make plenty of mistakes, but I will always have the best intentions in my heart. It’s hard to imagine the good in this world when you’re not here, but I try to remain optimistic.
Despite the fact that life goes on when a loved one passes, not a single moment goes by where we do not think of and miss you tremendously. I wish, so desperately, that you were still here with us. Although I think about you often, I try not to for very long because the pain of realizing I will never see you, hear your voice, or feel your warmth again is beyond overwhelming. This isn’t how I thought things would end; not this soon.
I love you more than I could ever begin to express in words, and your memory will forever live on in our hearts and souls. You will be remembered through stories from loved ones sharing their memories with one another, and together, we will hold on tightly.
Whether there is a heaven or not, I truly hope that your mind, body, and spirit are at peace, and that you are no longer in any pain or discomfort. More than anything, I desperately hope to find you in the afterlife (if there happens to be one), and never leave your side again.
Thank you for raising, loving, supporting, encouraging, being there, and never giving up on me. Out of the many inconsistencies in my life, you were always someone that remained and made sure that I knew it. You will never understand just how much that meant to me.
We love you, and we miss you beyond measure. Please look after each and every one of us throughout the rest of our journey here on Earth. Send love to my sweet boy who misses you so much it aches. He really needs it.
Never let go; we won’t. I love you, Papa.
“The trouble is — you think you have time.” R.I.P. SRH — November 16, 1951-February 12, 2019