The Angel I Never Knew
By the time I was born, dementia had taken Grandpa's mind. He was there physically, but in some ways he had already died. Then a few months before my second birthday, Colon Cancer took from us what was left of him. It's a special kind of grief when you never actually knew the person for who they were. I grieve for what should have been. I wish he'd not only been here longer but retained his mind. I have no special memories of him. Only stories and old photos. We'll never laugh together, he'll never go big brother on me at the mention of a boyfriend, we'll never sing a duet of "Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer", he'll never take me sledding, so many things we were supposed to share are gone.
Sometimes it seems silly to get sad over him. He's been gone so long and I never knew him for myself in the first place. But there are times I'll be at Grandma's and I'll sit in his chair and close my eyes and I imagine him sitting there and telling me an old story from his scouting days. I just want my grandpa.