Dear Grandpa Larry,
I just finished talking to my mom about what the hospice nurse said. You have, at most, 2 weeks to live. The lung cancer has taken over your body, you are dying.
I am sad because you are my grandfather and for that reason I love you, but I am more sad because my dad’s heart is breaking as he watches his father suffer day after day.
But mostly I am angry. I’m angry because I looked through the photo albums that contain every picture from mine and my sister’s childhood and I found 2 pictures of you. TWO. I am angry because when you lived 15 minutes away from me, you made no effort to see me unless it was a holiday. I am angry because when you moved over an hour away but still worked in MY NEIGHBORHOOD you never came to see me even though you were driving past my house 4 days a week. I am angry because, even though I am your grandchild, I was never important enough for you to make any effort. I am angry because you would never call just to say hi and see how I was doing. I am angry because you would let years go without seeing me like it was fucking nothing. I am angry because it took you getting diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer back in March for you to give a shit. I am angry because you are my grandfather and I just wanted a relationship with you and now I will never get that because 8 months ago you decided to move to Sacramento for no fucking reason and now you are dying.
Although I don’t have any pictures, I have two memories of you that I will hold on to forever. The first is from 7 years ago. I was 14, at your house for Grandma Lucy’s birthday and as I was leaving, you hugged me and told me I was beautiful. The second is from a few years after that; we were having dinner at Andre’s restaurant for Aunt Ana’s birthday and you told me that you loved how proud I was of being Cuban. But that’s it. In my 21 years, I have managed to remember 2 things you have said to me, because really there is nothing else.
I’m sure with time, I will learn to forgive you and let go of the anger. But, until then I am going to hold onto it, because it is all I have.
I’m sorry you are suffering. I do love you, but I am just so angry.