It's been 15 years since you both left me.
Sometimes the sadness of it all is enough to break me. I've spent more than one night crying myself to sleep because you guys aren't here. I think of the things you've missed, the moments you haven't gotten to see and it physically hurts me.
But then I think of some of the choices I've made and I'm grateful you weren't here to see me fall. I know you'd be proud that I stood back up, but I can't even imagine the hurt some of my decisions would've brought you.
I don't know two people who weathered more storms than you two. Two addict sons; one dead, and a daughter. Four granddaughters and so many "grandchildren" that you made your own even though you didn't have to. Over fifty years of marriage and a home that was the coziest place I've ever been in my life.
You two are the reason I can play Joy To The World on a piano. You're the reason that Ovaltine and canned pears hold a coveted spot in my heart.
I have nothing but good memories with you both. From pool days and croquet to the songs you'd sing to us, we were the luckiest.
I never knew there was hurt. You never let us see that side of things. Even when she died, you didn't let me know that it hurt you two. You just made sure I was safe. An arm around me, snuggled on the couch, a book in my lap.
I can still smell your house. I can see the curio cabinet and the decorations at Christmas time. I can hear my big wheel on the sidewalk and Grandpa putting the lawn chairs out at dusk. I can hear the back door shut as Grandpa goes to get the morning paper and the sizzle of the stove as Grandma starts a breakfast that could feed an army.
I can picture the couch where my Nicole and Adrian flipped over the cushion that I spilled pudding on. And I can hear Grandma asking if we're "sure we aren't hungry," even though she just saw us eat dinner.
I can see toothbrush holders and perfume bottles and how you both never got mad at us for rifling through your things.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry I became a teenager who was too busy for you both. I'm sorry I didn't know what was important. Hindsight is 20-20, I guess.
Thank you for what you taught us. Thank you for showing us that true love takes work. And true love involves as much hurt as it does laughter. Thank you for showing us that family sometimes means letting go, even when you want to hold on tight.
Grandpa, thanks for teaching us the word "shitpot." And for the KitKats.
Grandma, thanks for all the Uno. And for always picking the brown crisps out of Gardetto's for us.
And thank you for the songs.
"You wrote on my slate I love you so"...
"Way down yonder in an itty bitty pool"...
Thank you for making sure I got to know my sisters.
But mostly thank you for the sunsets. We love you, too.
We all miss you. See you when we get there.
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