Dear Grandpa

Dear Grandpa,

December 28th came and went and I didn’t even remember. It was a Saturday. I think I worked in the morning. I had just flown back to Los Angeles days before. It’s the 8th and I still haven’t unpacked my suitcase. Last year was different. Last year, we were at Tulocay Cemetery moving your ashes.  My hair was in a fishtail braid. I took a xanax and I cried a lot. Kind of weird to see you reduced to such a small little box. But I guess the important things, the things that make me think of you, like your watch, your glasses, your Brooks Brothers polos, those things are better off with us. My mom wears your watch sometimes. I bet she did on the 28th. Two years ago on the 28th, I was working at Sonoma Wine Garden. I was wearing blue silky sweatpants from Zara. I picked up a Greens 3 from Pressed Juicery on my way. And two years ago on the 28th, you died.

Christmas felt a lot better this year. I think it’ll always be a little odd, but it was ten thousand times better than last year. Last year didn’t feel like Christmas at all. I think everyone was just so sad that you weren’t here. And it’s always easier to be mad, so everyone was mad. That was me the year before too. So mad. Kicking and screaming to see you when no one would let me, not knowing how sick you were. You were so strong at Thanksgiving. Makes me wish I had hugged you a little tighter. But this year was better. This year, we laughed about your chocolate covered cherries. We drank chocolate milk. We missed you. I don’t think that part will ever change.

I’m teaching yoga to little kids now. I bet you’d have rolled your eyes the first time I told you, kind of like when I told you I was destined for rock star greatness and only asked for a drum set on my 17th birthday. But this one seems to be sticking. I bet I could tell you I was joining the circus and you’d buy tickets to opening night. You did get me that drum set, after all. But who’s idea was it to give it me unassembled? That was genius. Days of putting it together left me so frustrated, I think I played it only once. You probably knew that would happen. These kids are pretty frustrating too, but unlike the drums, they have their redeeming qualities. One of them made me a bracelet the other day.

You’re probably thinking only in Los Angeles can I teach yoga to kindergartners as part of their school day, right? But these kids are so cool. We talk about namaste and what it means to them. They say the sweetest things like peace, and love, and best friends forever. I ask them who they could say it to, and often times they tell me they could say it to their dogs, which isn’t entirely off base. Sometimes they say me and I just melt. Yesterday at McKinley Elementary, a little girl asked if she could say it to her grandpa because he had cancer and I cried the whole way home. I think I’m the most surprised that this is what I’ve fallen in to, but it honestly makes me so happy and hopeful. These sweet little yogi babes make me so proud. Hearing them say they’ve been doing yoga since they were five and three quarters melts my heart.

When I tell them to be good bears, I think of you. When the clocks change at daylight savings. And when I hear someone say it’s not the end of the world. When tulips are in season. And whenever I check the mail, I think of you. I think your letters are what I miss the most. So I guess I thought I’d write you one of my own, and I hope it finds you in peace.

              xoxo samantha

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