When I was seven years old my grandpa died. He wasn't just my grandpa, he was also my best friend. We'd do everything together! Go get donuts, eat our meals together, walk to the park, build Lego cities, and much more fun memories I'll never forget. So when my grandpa passed away in his sleep I was devastated. My grandmother told me that I was crying for three hours straight until I passed out from being so tired. I lay by my grandpa's still form, still in his bed like he was just taking a quick nap, and balled my eyes out begging him not to leave me.
The funeral came quickly, and I felt as if I were in a daze moving through life with no meaning. And as Filipino tradition we have a party right after the funeral to celebrate the person's life and all their achievements. At that time I didn't really understand this, and was angry at everyone for celebrating. I locked myself in the guest room for the rest of the party and quickly fell asleep. In my dream I was at my grandmother's house standing in her driveway. Her garage door was open and oddly enough my grandfather's coffin was in the garage as well. I walked up to it and examine it. The lid was open; however, nothing was inside it. I continued to wonder where my grandfather's body could have gone and why the coffin was here in the first place.
"Baby girl," I jumped at that voice. It was my Grandpa Al's voice! I turned around to see him beaming down at me, and felt tears come to my eyes. "B-but grandpa?! I thought you died! Everyone keeps telling me you're dead!" I was in disbelief. I couldn't believe my grandpa was here in front of me, looking as healthy as ever, and alive. "I know, baby. Don't worry, Grandpa won't leave you, alright? Now go on inside and enjoy the party. The whole family is here."
I didn't want to leave my grandpa again. And told him to hold my hand and walk inside with me. "Sorry, sweetheart. Grandpa's gotta take care of some stuff out here in the garage, but I'll meet you inside ok? Save me some cake." And with that he ushered me inside and kissed me on the forehead.
I walked into a crowd of people and told them all that grandpa was alive. They all told me they knew, and that it was time to cut the cake. I got pretty excited because I knew I would get to share my grandpa's cake with him and he always gave me the frosting, but before I could get our pieces of cake, I woke up... I could still hear the party going on and unlocked the door to go out into the hallway and into the kitchen. I then told my Grandma Lynn (my grandpa's wife) that Grandpa Al was alive and he was just fixing something in the garage. She smiled at me with tears in her eyes and hugged me tight. She whispered to me. "He'll always be with us in spirit, Gabi."
I told her again that he was not dead and quickly set off to the garage to find him. But once I got there, no one was in there, there wasn't a coffin, and the garage door was closed. I walked back to my grandma and told her to save some cake for grandpa while I go look for him. I searched everywhere in the house, and in the backyard too. But I couldn't find him. I just didn't want to believe that seeing my grandpa was all a dream. I went into my grandpa's bedroom and began to cry.
My grandpa never liked when I cried and always tried to cheer me up. I suddenly felt like someone was hugging me and it smelled like the cologne that my grandpa use to always wear. It was impossible for anyone else to be hugging me because I had shut the door and locked it. I knew it must be my grandpa, so I simply smiled and said, "I love you, Grandpa Al."
In loving memory of Alfred DelaCruz (the best Grandpa ever).
Thank you for reading.