It has been six months.
Some days it feels like an eternity ago. Others, like it was just yesterday.
And there are even some days that the feeling that it didn't happen wash over me.
I looked at one of the few pictures I have of my Popa with Gus and Will and just stopped and stared. He's gone.
There will be no more faxes from him sending an article, no more calls to Gus wanting to bet $1 on an upcoming football game, no more cute greeting cards with scratch tickets inside, no more funny notes on random paper written in his black or red pen, no more phone calls to share the latest story of the boys... and now girl, no more breakfasts in their kitchen when he sneaks food he shouldn't eat, no more spills all over his freshly cleaned shirts, no more "glory be's"... no more new memories.
My heart aches for my grandmother, figuring out for the first time in sixty plus years how to live without him. It aches for my mom and her sisters, knowing their sweet Dad, one of their very best friends is gone and not a visit or phone call away. It aches for the son-in-laws who were always his sons, without the in-law. For the grandkids, all six of us, not having our Popa cheering us on for the latest sport or school project, for the new job, for the hard day of a mom, whatever it may have been. It aches for my husband and my cousins' future spouses that they won't have all the years of love and fond memories that we did. It aches for Gus and Will, that they didn't get to make memories with him; that they really only met him once. For Zelie, that there was no connection with her Great Popa. He knew he would be a Great Popa again, but not to a sweet little girl. For John who just got married to his sweet bride that Popa loved, and for Leanne who is getting married in just a few months to her best friend, who Popa also loved. For the fact that they won't have the precious and treasured moments I was blessed with having with him at my wedding. He will be there. At weddings, at births of new babies, at each and every moment... in our hearts.
The ache is there in so, so many ways. But I do know he will forever be a part of all of our lives. And we will never forget him.
His stories, his specialties in the kitchen, his traditions, his example, his love...
it will all go on.
Popa, life has changed so much for all of us since you left us.
Months have passed with Nana living with Mom and Dad and I hope you are looking down on them as they take care of your sweet wife like you did for so many years of your life.
We miss you, but know you are still a big part of all of our lives, in our hearts, in our memories and always in our prayers.
Love you Pops!