The Best Man I Ever KnewThe first memory I have of my grandfather was of his smile. He had a smile that not only touched his lips but his whole face lit up , his eyes sparkled and always without fail ..a chuckle would accompany that smile.
I remember sitting on his lap , and him cuddling me and telling me stories of his childhood , of tickling me beneath my chubby chin as he told me stories of little talking frogs . I also remember when I would go to the hospital or was in pain or crying he would reach for me , and to my little eyes , his arms were safety .. I would not find pain and suffering there only kindness , warmth and a love my little soul was starved for.
As I got older it did not change , he was there strong and handsome even in his old age , with arms open wide and when I ran to them , I still felt the loving protection , the refuge I needed when this world was too much to bear. He was the man I looked up to and tried to emulate . His quiet strength was something I clung to . He was my savior when me and my mother ran and had no one to go to , he was there always.
And when he died , a piece of my soul died with him . I will not forget that moment for as long as I live . In the hospital room , hoping they were wrong , praying with all my might that the cold hand I held would suddenly move in mine , that his eyes would open and he would smile at me like he had a million times before and say .. I fooled you gatita Im just fine , it was a joke !
But those beautiful dark eyes would never open for me again , and that smile I lived for would never light my day .
Oh I have seen him in my dreams , and I see his face in every older man I come across. I hear his voice laughing , joking and talking with me when I visit his favorite places.
But when I am alone sometimes and give myself a chance to think , I feel the emptiness inside, the part that he filled inside me , the part that first belonged to him , as a little girl sitting on his lap looking up at the smiling face of the best man I ever knew.
I miss you abuelito , I love you , and for as long as I live I will never forget you or the things you taught me .
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