Hugs for Love

February 14, 2012
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My grandpa was my favorite person in the world. He was out spoken, loud, and sometimes a little crazy. I wouldn’t have traded him for anything in the world. I also never imagined that I would lose him so soon.

Grandpa had mostly gray hair that always looked greasy. He wasn’t fat, but he wasn’t skinny either. He looked as if he has been working his whole life. Grandpa had that stern, but gentle look to him. He almost always had a hat on. He usually had a scruffy beard that scratched my cheeks when I hugged him. His skin was tanned from working outside all the time. He had bushy eyebrows and eyes that twinkled when he smiled.


My favorite memories of Grandpa usually happened outside of his farm. I like to think that I was his favorite grandchild, since I was the youngest girl for a really long time. He always wanted me to help him in the garden, and I loved it. He would always talk about how hardworking I was. Grandpa taught me the “proper” way to use a broom and then always made me sweep the garage for him.

I thought I was going to lose my grandpa more than once. One summer, my siblings and I were at our cabin in Missouri and my mom called to tell us that we would have to stay longer because Grandpa was in the hospital. I was so scared that I wouldn’t be around when he died. I didn’t want to miss saying goodbye. Grandpa was a fighter though, and he made it many more years after that.

It was October 20th, 2007 and my cousin Emily was getting married. It was a pretty exciting time, no one had been married in the family in a pretty long time. I don’t really remember seeing my grandpa much that night. A few times I went to his table to talk to him. I also saw him in his hotel room before the reception, but I didn’t make it a point to talk to him.

The next day, I went to my grandparents hotel room to find my mom. All I remember is that Grandpa was complaining about how I didn’t have respect, or something around that topic. The only thing I wanted was to get home and sleep. So, I stormed out of the hotel with my bag and sat in the van until my parents were ready to leave. I didn’t hug my grandpa, which I almost always did when I left him.

The next Saturday my mom called me to tell me that she was going to Boone because Grandpa was in the hospital. This wasn’t a rare occurrence, but the fact that my mom was going to see him and my dad was coming home from his vacation kind of tipped me off that something was very wrong. I asked to go, but she told me that I wouldn’t want to see him like that. My siblings and I went to a church dinner and the whole time I kept asking them to check if Mom and called with news. They repeatedly told me no.

We went home and my sister called my mom to ask what was going on. My sister hung up the phone, she turned to my brother and I and said “He’s dead.” Nothing else. I looked at my brother and kept repeating “She’s lying.. this is a joke.” He shook his head at me. Neither of them showed any emotion at all. I went to my room trying to remember the last thing Grandpa and I had said to each other. That’s when I remembered our last exchange. I remembered how all I cared about was going home and how I hadn’t hugged him.

Now, whenever I leave a family members house, I hug them. I try to tell my grandma that I love her, but she doesn’t really like showing affection. I always regret not hugging him and not forcing my mom to take me with her that day. You can never tell someone you love them too many times. You can never give someone too many hugs, because you never know when they’ll be gone forever.





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