Its hard to believe but five years ago today my grandfather, aka Pepa, passed away to esophageal cancer. It basically went from diagnosis to almost recovery to passing away in six short months.
I can still remember many things about him. The way he smelled. The way he felt. The way he smiled. Even the way he talked. Some of my favorite memories of him include him painting my sister's and I's toenails while we sat on his lap. Or jumping on the trampoline while he sang "Row, row, row your boat." (His own rendition of course.) Or the time I had the chicken pox and stayed at the house with him and Mema. Or the chocolate long johns that he always brought to me and sis when we stayed the night. Or the baby chicks in the sun room. Or his dogs, Annie and Festus, which I loved as my own. Or the cherry tree he gave me to plant in the garden. Or the pride he instilled in me for Oklahoma 4-H program. Just to name a few. :)
But even those memories aren't good enough sometimes. I still feel like I would give anything to have one more day with him or the chance to say goodbye.
I was only 16 years old when my Pepa passed away. Its hard to imagine how different my life would be if he was still with us. He would have been at my high school graduation. He would get to see me walk across that stage in Gallagher-Iba Arena...knowing I was carrying on his cowboy tradition. He would have been at my sister's wedding. I would be able to dance with him at mine. I know I shouldn't get caught up in the "what might have been's" but its hard not to on days like today.
But life must go on. And here we are five years later, still left wondering how it even happened. Loving and missing you Pepa.