Merry Christmas Poppop This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

December 20, 2013
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234 days ago I lost my superman. My grandfather, my father's father passed away. Nobody could have ever expected this. He was the last person I would have ever thought that would pass away. My whole life I thought that he would even outlive me.

At the young age of 69 he biked across the whole of the United States, from Seattle, Washington to Gloucester, Massachusetts. His power never more evident. Not only was he the strongest man I've ever known, but he was also the kindest. My grandfather would put every last person on the face of the Earth before himself. No matter if he knew them or not, their needs was always more important than his. He was also one of the brightest men I've every met. He got his college degree from Boston University. He was an English teacher at Brandywine high school, and also the track and field coach. If you ever were blessed with the opportunity to walk into his house you would understand his one obsession, books. Every shelf, every closet, every table was covered in books. Books of every genre, books by every author, books from every time period. The most special thing however was the fact that each and everyone of them had a bookmark in them, whether it was 10 pages or 100 pages into the book, all of them had a bookmark. As if he had came across a question while he was reading one book, and looked for his answer in another.

My grandfather's favorite thing was to hear his grandchildren read to him. And boy did we all love to do it. As we got older however, we preferred to discuss our readings with him, in a very intellectual conversation. Which is what I would do every Wednesday. Poppop, which is what we would call him, would come over every Wednesday to have dinner with my family. This is something all of us would always look forward to. My parents and he would always discuss family issues and the days events either at work or in the everyday. As for my younger brother and I, we would tell Poppop all about school, and our current reads in English class. However, unexpectedly, he was always interested in our math. If we ever got stuck on a problem, he would go home and research the correct answer and come back the next week with all of the answers.

With Christmas coming up, I've been thinking about my grandfather a lot. This will be the first Christmas without him, for all of my family, and it is possibly the hardest thing I've ever done. It might not show every moment of every day, I might not be obsessing over the thought, but it is always there, always nagging at the back of my mind. It makes this Christmas harder to enjoy. I become filled with guilt, and sorrow. The last book my grandfather and I discussed was Pride and Prejudice, and when I think of it, my eyes begin to water. I was supposed to read this book for summer reading before my junior year, I didn't, but I told my grandfather I did. I had always planned on reading it after my junior year and then really have a talk with Poppop about it. But I never got the chance to do that, and every time I think about it, I can't help but be filled with guilt. The sorrow comes when I begin to think of my grandfather's funeral. All of my cousins, and even my brother stood up in front of everybody there and had something to say, or sing. Yet I, I was left to sit in my seat the whole time, feeling sorry, crying.
I wish I had just had 10 more minutes with him, but, I don't. So, Merry Christmas Poppop, I miss you so much, I can't wait to see you again.

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