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Short Thoughts on Loss & Love

Working from home in my brother’s childhood bedroom – using his dresser as a standing desk because I fell so hard rollerblading that to sit down would be nearly impossible – I walk past a box of childhood photos and my eye draws to one of my grandfather and I. It’s sweet.

I think about the last text message I just sent, a quick note to a new friend. I think about how I’d love to show my friend that picture of my grandfather and I.

I’m halfway down the hall to get a glass of water when it hits me. My new friend will never meet my grandpa. I double down. Everyone I meet from here on out won’t know his smile, his laugh, his kindness.

And the brick hits. I fill my glass and look back at the mirror, seeing the way the corners of my eyes peel red when my heart feels before my brain can catch up. I forgot I was wearing his sweater.

That’s when I decide: maybe they will meet him in the way I organize the dishes in the cupboard. Maybe they’ll meet him when I explain that there’s always room for dessert or when my eyes dance at the opportunity to teach someone something new or when I make the deliberate choice to lead with love in every moment.

Oh, they will certainly meet my grandfather. I hope they meet him how I did–as a man of kindness, grace, humility, and wisdom. And I hope as his granddaughter, they meet him through me.

©2020 THE SMILE PROJECT