Tomorrow marks five years since my Grandpa’s soul left his body. During our time in the cult, I did not see Grandpa much. When we did, I felt so much pressure to assure him that we were “okay” and that his soul needed saving. At times I still wanna smack myself for doing that. I was brainwashed and Grandpa understood that. I know he was worried about our family when we got out. He never said as much, but he was a steady rock when I was crashing. I crashed hard during his last year, and I know he was worried. I didn’t want him to leave, I wanted to know so much more about him. I went to his house a few times every week to visit, and he always made me feel better. I asked him to start emailing me stories about his life, and he did. His stories are terrific. Grandpa was always so proud of me. When he smiled the whole world lit up. No matter what I did, he would smile at me. He wasn’t big for words, but he was good for comfort and always for a laugh. He was always telling jokes, and really good ones. When I find myself missing him I will remember what it felt like to lay my head on his shoulder when I hugged him. I remember the feeling of his sweater against my face, and the sound of his breath.
Sometimes I forget why I started writing. I get lost in the thoughts of worry about what others think, and how this blog could be portrayed. I don’t like to make people sad. I want to write because I believe my story is dark and light, beautiful and transparent. I call my life “charmed” because that is how I feel. My life is full; full of love, anger, friends, music, work, laughter, screams (sometimes of delight from little children), wiggling dogs to greet me at the door, beauty, and loss; but also so much life. If it took all of those awful experiences to lead me to where I am today, I can honestly say that I am okay. I think that charm is a family trait. A light passed down through generations. I am happy and healthy. I will take all of the emotions and experiences; I will embrace them. Because I want to. Because I suffered, I find value in what may seem minimal. When things get tough, I remember what I went through. I remember that Grandpa is proud of me. I am strong, and I am loved.
My cousin shared this video the other day. I think she is an awesome and I am sure that Grandpa would have just loved this: