Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thank you, grandpa.

Over the past few weeks, our family has experienced the tragedy of watching the strongest man we know lose his battle with cancer. I will not say that we watched him give up strength, because along this heartbreaking journey, he never gave up one bit of it.

My courageous, hard-working, devoted 89-year-old grandfather exemplified the meaning of strength. Experiencing several health complications throughout the course of his lifetime, he fought through each and every one of them. He was not ready to go, and he was determined to let the world know that. He wanted to be here, to live a little longer, and it was that desire and strength that allowed him to live a prosperous 89 years. So, for that, thank you grandpa, for showing us all what it means to be strong in the most difficult of times.

Thank you for showing us what it means to love. To love life. To love your family. To love all that you have. Your sense of pride was magnificent. In the countless stories you shared with us, you never shared any stories of regret. You lived your life to the fullest. You made your dreams come true. You did not believe for one second that life was something you should look back on with regrets, but rather look back on and realize what you want to do differently in the future. Realize which dreams you really want to follow. Most importantly, you taught us to never let a setback cause us to give up on our dreams.

In the last few weeks of your journey of life, I will never forget the way you woke from your sleep and said to my mom, “I’m hanging in there”. Hanging in there; that’s what you did your entire life, right up until the very end.

So, we will hang in there for you. We will live our lives with no regrets, so that we can tell our grandchildren stories the way that you told us stories.

Thank you for the stories, for sharing your life with all of us.

And above all, thank you for hanging in there.

May you finally receive the rest that you so very much deserve. We love you and will miss you every day.