Tag Archives: grandfather

Hoy Celebro mi Papito

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Happy Birthday to the man who I miss most in this world!  The man who I regret my future husband and kids will never meet.  The man who was the best grandfather any little girl could ask for.  The man who defined what a man should be.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him and there is no way that I love him any less than when he took his last breath.

I will always miss my Papito.  I will always love him.  And I will always celebrate his life.

Papito

Sí, soy la dueña, pero tú siempre serás el dueño de parte de mi corazón.

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Felicidades Adolfo!

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About 10 years ago, a man named Adolfo came into my life in the form of my step-grandfather.  I didn’t really know him and I wasn’t sure how long he would be in my life.  I started warming up to the idea of him when he would come visit us from New York with my grandma and we would play basketball together.  Eventually, I came to the conclusion he wasn’t going anywhere and now, 10 years later, he’s proven he’s a part of this family.  He’s been there for myself and my family during some of the hardest times in our lives, while also sharing our pain in many of those moments.  He’s experienced some of our most beautiful moments together, which simply can’t be replaced.  Throughout the past decade, Adolfo has been an amazing grandfather figure, helping to fill some voids that had existed for years before he came into the picture.  I’m so thankful to have him in my life and, even though we aren’t blood related, I without a doubt consider him family.  I’m grateful for every moment I get to spend with him and the opportunity to adopt him into our family.  Today is his birthday and, although he can’t be here with my mom and siblings, he knows how loved he is.  I wish him nothing but the best throughout another year in his life.

Felicidades Adolfo!

RIP Abuelo Papo

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RIP Abuelo Papo

Just yesterday I received the news that my grandfather passed away.  He had been fighting in a battle with cancer and, after numerous surgeries, countless treatments, and many long years, his body gave in and it was too much for him to bear.  Considering this loss in my family, we at least have the consolation that he passed away in his own home with many of his loved ones around him.  Personally, although I wasn’t with him when he took his last breath, I got to see him when he came for my father’s college graduation just two weeks ago.  It had been three years since I had last seen him, so seeing him one last time counts for a lot.  I can only imagine what it meant for my dad and his parents to share that moment of graduation together, but I am thankful to have personally witnessed those memories.  Yes, my grandfather had been struggling in his fight for a long time, but it doesn’t make his passing any less difficult or shocking.  If anything, it seems like it came out of nowhere, but then again that may be a selfish kind of mindset.  Instead, I should be grateful for the moments I did share with my grandfather and for the moments that I will spend with my family in Puerto Rico within the next few days.  I am grateful that I got to hug him and tell him I loved him that one last time.  I am grateful that he is no longer suffering.

With that being said, I hope my grandfather finds nothing but peace and love all while knowing he will never be forgotten.

A Granddaughter’s Thoughts

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When most people think of May things like graduation, flowers, Mother’s Day, and the beach all come to mind.  That’s what used to come to mind for my family, but, for a while, May has been a much more difficult time of year for us.  The May events of past years have definitely created a month of tension, uneasiness, and, most of all, sadness.  Today marks the anniversary of one of those life changing dates.  Four years ago today, the head of my family, my great-grandfather, passed away.

When people hear great-grandfather, they don’t understand the grief that’s related to it.  Most people don’t get to meet their great-grandparents and fewer people have the chance to even establish any kind of relationship with them.  I was lucky enough to not only have known my great-grandfather, but to have also had a very close relationship with him.  I will say that I can’t be too selfish because my Papito had a very long and fulfilling life.  He was married to the love of his life, served in two wars, had three children, lived in paradise, enjoyed many years with his grandchildren, and got to share memories with several of his great-grandchildren.  However, despite all of the upsides to my great-grandfather’s life, it is still hard to deal with the void of a grandfather.

Papito was definitely more of a grandfather figure in my life than a distant relative, which is why the grief is so near to me.  He taught me so much about family and life.  He gave me so many priceless memories that I still look back to.  It’s because of him that tradition is still relevant in my family.  No, he wasn’t perfect.  Of course, he had his flaws, but his mistakes don’t take away from the great man that he was.  Ask anyone about “Goyo” and they will tell you about his strong character, generous heart, and loving nature.  Sure, he had a temper, but trust that he had a big heart to match it.  He was known throughout the entire town and he was equally respected.  I just feel blessed to have been so close to him because I got to see what kind of a man he really was and, honestly, I can’t recall one moment when I didn’t love and admire that man.

Naturally, with May being associated with the loss of my grandfather, the month doesn’t feel quite right.  I should be happy because I’m about to graduate and summer is right around the corner, but I can’t help but think of what I’ve lost.  Someday, I’m sure I’ll be able to look at May as a celebration for the family I have and the relationships I’ve experienced.  I’ll be able to not dread the fourth or the tenth and all the days around it.  I’ll be able to feel okay.  I don’t know when May will not weigh so heavily on me, but I know it’ll come soon.  In the meantime, I can only do what everyone else does to manage their grief.  All I can do is remember the good times and trust that this isn’t a goodbye, but a see you later.

RIP Abuelo Tongo

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RIP Abuelo TongoEven a year later, it’s hard to think that you’re gone. There will be no more opportunities to learn more about each other, no more chances to create memories together, and no more moments that we’ll share. There’s no more time to think about what could’ve been. What’s done is done and all I can do now is appreciate the time I did have with you. I can only hold on to what I did learn from you and the stories about you that I will one day tell my children. I’ll always remember the positives you brought to my life and be happy for those positives. Despite what many claim, you did bring a lot of that into my life and that of my family, which I will forever be grateful for. Because of you, I am a Ramirez and I’ll always be a piece of you. Espero que estes gosando con tu querida familia en el cielo y velando a tus queridos en la tierra, pero sobre todo te deseo mucha paz.

Happy Birthday Adolfo!

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I may not have any of this man’s blood and I may not have met him until I was nearly 11 years old, but Adolfo has been everything and more than what I could ever ask for in a grandfather.  He has been there for me and my family during some of the most difficult times in our lives and he has shown no signs of ever wanting to leave us.  I have great memories of playing basketball with him and just joking around.  Now, that he’s been in my life for half of it there’s no denying that he’s family.  He tells everyone that my mom is his daughter and that we are his grandkids because that is what we are.  He is my grandfather and there are no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it.  I am so grateful for his presence in my life and I don’t think anyone but my family can understand that.  He was at my quinceanero, my graduation, and, in the future, he’ll be at my wedding and every other important event in my life.  I love him so much and I wish him nothing but the best on this special day.  I am just so glad that he gets to spend his birthday here with me, his granddaughter.

Happy Birthday Adolfo!

Happy Birthday Adolfo!

3 Years…

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If anybody asks me, I will tell them that Gregorio Montalvo was my grandfather.  He was actually my great-grandfather, but I was raised with him being the closest thing to a real grandfather I’ve ever had.  That man was there when I was born.  He was there when I needed him.  He was there when I turned 15.  He was always there and he never thought twice about it.  He may not have always been there physically, but he was always just a phone call away.  Now, he isn’t here physically.  I can’t see him or touch him, but he’s still here with me.  I always think about him and I will always love him.  He will always be in my heart and that is something that will never change.

My grandfather is one of the men that I look up to the most and I feel so honored to have been able to spend nearly 17 years of my life with him.  He was a man who fought in WWII, in the Korean War, and against cancer, surviving all three.  He was a man who had to see the lives of his son and grandson end.  He was a man full of pride and strength, but he always had more love in him than anything else.  He lived a good, long life and I should be grateful for having been able to know him so well… and I am.  It hurts that he’s no longer here, but I can’t be selfish.  He needed to rest and he needed to be ok.  He is now and I’m thankful for that.  Like I said, it hurts to not have him here and it hurts to know that his big hugs won’t be felt again, but I know he’s watching over me.  He wouldn’t want to see me crying or sad because he’s gone, but sometimes I just can’t help it.  It will always hurt, even though I know he’s right here with me.

I’ll never forget his infinite love for pancakes.  I’ll never forget his endless bickering with my Mami Tita that simply made us all burst into laughter.  I’ll never forget his cheerful whistling or his infamous turkey gobble.  I can still see him with an old wife beater, some shorts, and sandals, sitting on his couch watching TV.  I can still hear his deep voice dandome la bendicion.  I can still feel his big arms wrapped around me, giving me a hug.  Those are things that I’ll never forget because those are all a part of him.  I will never forget him, my beloved grandfather, my beloved Papito.  The only thing I can say now is that I love him so much and I look forward to being able to hug him again.