Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz.
Today is a weird thing to think about. Today reminds me of a summer that I wish I never had, and a day I wish I didn’t have to go through so soon in my life. My grandfather’s memorial service was on this day last year.
It’s one of those memories that will live on in my head for years to come. I still remember every single detail of that day: the laughs with family, the tears with them, the reunion of sisters after years passed, and just a moment in time where we got to celebrate my grandfather’s life.
Last summer, my grandfather got diagnosed with lung cancer, and we were told that he had only a couple of weeks left to live. It was devastating; we were all losing a family member that in a way kept us together. I now see just how much he was the glue to our family, ironically enough. He was my grandmother’s second husband, after her first one, my mom’s father, passed away in 1997. I was only three.
It was one of the most difficult deaths in my family that I had experienced, and to this day it’s extremely hard to reflect and think back, especially when I’m at family gatherings. There’s always a missing piece of the puzzle; there is always one empty chair missing at the dining room table at my aunt’s house. There is barely any laughter anymore because my grandfather was the storyteller, comedian, the glue.
For it is one of the more major deaths in my family that I have experienced, it truly taught me a lesson about life. When someone older dies, you are reminded that everything and everyone is getting older. I’m not that little girl that I once was, my mother isn’t as young as she was, and my grandparents, well, I lost 2 within 5 years of each other and know that the pain will only happen again later in life as well.
It’s taught me important lessons about family and just how important they are. For 6 years of your life as a teenager, you don’t really appreciate the family you have; you just see them as annoying people who don’t allow you to do anything. Those years wasted on not truly appreciating your family just comes right around to bite you in the ass when you’re in your 20’s when you mature and realize that these humans are valuable figures in your life. I may not be speaking for every 20-something-year-old on this planet, but for me – this is how my journey was.
I try my hardest not to waste my days away being too sad or anxious or angry at the world, and yeah, sometimes it doesn’t work – you stay pressed for God knows how long. But, never forget that the time you have is never granted, and each day should be reflective to some certain degree. What can you do better? How can I improve these flaws of mine? How can I reflect on my life and take what I know now and apply it for tomorrow?
We are getting older, don’t let time get to you.