Growing up, my mom worked a lot. She worked mostly 5a-2p, then when she got home she was exhausted.
So… most of my days were spent with my grandpa.
He was my very best friend. He took my to school, dance, friends houses, and even took me on random adventures with him.
My mom and dad split when I was about 3 years old, and my dad moved to Antioch. So, although I am still very close to my dad and love him to death, growing up, my grandpa was like a father figure to me.
He would take me on fun little excursions with him. I remember this one time, he took me fishing with him. I was about 9 years old so didn’t know much about what the heck we were doing, but as long as I was with papa, I didn’t care.
We were getting ready to leave the house for a 3 hour drive to where we were going fishing, he asked me if I had to use the restroom before we went.. Of course, like all kids, I said “No, I’m okay”
Three hours later, we get to our destination and I turn to my grandpa and say “Papa, I have to pee!”
He was a stubborn old man so that just pissed him off! LOL
He said, “Well you should have gone at home, you can either hold it or go in the bushes!”
Go in the bushes????
I started crying my eyes out, I was so scared to go in the bushes, I was 9, did he really think I had experience going in the bushes?
After a few min, I began to cry. I was a mess… and he was pissed.
Well, long story short, I pee’d myself.
So after driving 3 hours away to go fishing, I ended up peeing myself 10 min in, and we had to drive right back home.
Oh boy, was I in trouble.
But my grandpa had this thing about him where he couldn’t stay mad at me. When ever he would yell or get upset at me, he felt horrible.
Needless to say, we stopped by a Walmart on the way home and he bought me a new pair of pants and sent me in the bathroom to change.
My grandpa was an amazing man. Anyone and everyone loved him. He had the best personality. From being hilarious, to a grump, he was the best papa I could ever ask for.
In 2008, we were driving to my dance class, and all of a sudden, my grandpa asked me,
“Where am I going?”
I said “To dance silly”
he replied, “How do I get there?”
I knew right then and there, something was wrong. He has been driving me to dance for 9 years. I called my mom in tears not knowing what to do.
A few days later, we brought him to the doctors. They took blood and ran tests..
The next day, my life changed forever.
My grandpa was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer that had metastasized to his brain, causing him to also have a brain tumor.
The doctors said he had 3 months to live…
Three months later, December 1st, 2008, my grandma passed away, 5 days before my birthday.
I was heartbroken. There are no words for how sad and hurt I was.
I was a 12 year old girl, whose best friend had just died.
Just sitting here writing this makes me cry. Thinking about what an amazing man he was and how much more life he had to live.
It’s been 9 years since hes been gone and not a day goes by that I don’t think about him.
About two years ago, I had the idea of getting a tattoo in memory of my grandpa.
I decided to get a dove, (his favorite bird) with a lung cancer ribbon, that reads Papa underneath.
This is by far my favorite tattoo of mine and always will be.
Having this tattoo on me, is like having a piece of him with me everywhere I go.
I am so beyond thankful to have had such an amazing role model growing up.
I miss him more than anything in this whole wide world and will keep all the memories we had together in my heart forever.
Thank you for letting me share this blog post with you all, its never an easy topic to talk about, but you guys really make me feel like its okay to express myself and I can’t thank you enough.
and of course…
Thank you for living a day in the Life Of Sawdey!