Monday, May 18

one year... one day at a time..

April 30th, 2008... he turned 71 and we celebrated... the man who loved me and cared for me as if i was his actual daughter, not his granddaughter. The man who i had come to admire and respect and place in a pedestal far higher than anyone else.

He turned 71... and we celebrated.

2 days later I found myself sitting in a hospital waiting room hearing the news that this man, my favorite person in the entire world, would no longer walk this earth with me. I can not tell you how I felt or what I said. There's some things in life you just find yourself blocking out. The late night of May 2nd, early morning of May 3rd is one of these things. We finally said goodbye to him around 5:30 in the morning. My heart fell to into pieces and has never repaired.

It's been one year... more like, one day at a time.

I miss him more than words could ever describe. I was prepared for the fact that at some point in time my grandparents would leave me. I was not prepared for this unexpected day.

I see him in Ethan's michevious eyes. He has his nose.. his dusty blonde, wispy hair.. his demeanor and his charm. He is David Kessler made all over into a tiny little package. I wish he was here to see him, to teach him life's lessons. I know he's watching though and taking pride that God granted me with a constant reminder of him. Ethan will only remember him in pictures, as he was only a year old when Pop left us, but dont ever doubt that he knows him and loves him.

My sweet Lilly is the lucky one. She was able to spend 4 1/2 years with him. He absolutely adored her and she knows it! She still talks to him in her dreams. He watches over her and protects her. She's a gentle heart. He remindes her of stories and his love. She's his "ladybug" and she's quick to let everyone know. She talks about him everyday and can bring a smile, laugh and tear out of you all at once. I am forever grateful that he has stayed with her. When i finally get to see him in heaven one day, this is the first thing i will thank him for..... for loving my babies.

Every happy memory from my childhood involves this great man. He took me on my first beach trip, my first Disney World trip. He taught me to ride my bike. He taught me to swim and built me a swing set. He built me the cradle I slept in as a newborn. He filmed my first dance recital and brought roses to the stage for me. In fact, for as long as i can remember, I had pink carnations for every birthday. I was HIS.. his favorite... and he was mine. Everyone knew this unspoken truth and life was grand. Later in life, it was his opinion that mattered above anyone else's. It was him who led me down the paths that I needed to be on. He was a tough man.. a military man. Even in pure frustration with him... he was right.. you knew it, he knew it.. he always was. I should have listened to him more. I loved the fact that he ate almost the same things for dinner every week. I loved his laugh and his stories of days long ago. I loved the love he held for his country and his fellow marines. I loved that he only ate lettuce and tomato on his salads, put onions in is tuna and ate Frosted Flakes every night throughout my childhood. In my eyes there is no greater person. In my eyes there is no greater love than the love he shared with my grandmother for 49 years. She's a tender heart.. this is what he saw in his Ladybug, as they are two of a kind. They were soulmates. They are what i hope to have in my own marriage.

My life is forever changed. A piece of me is no longer and will never be. I live everyday to remind my children how much he loved them and just how incredible he was. He surrounds us in stories and photographs. I find myself talking to him at random times. I wish he were here with us, but i know i'm selfish in my want. He's free now.. with no pain. He's in a far better place than I could ever imagine. I will see him again, I know this.

Until then..
It's one day at a time.

Pop and his Ladybug

Pop and Ethan

On April 30th, 2009 he would have been 72....

.... and we celebrated!

"To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" Cor 5:8
"I Thank My God Upon Every Remembrance Of You" Philippians 1:3

1 comment:

The Byingtons said...

Aw, Natalie, this post was so touching! What sweet memories and how special that you guys celebrated!