I can’t believe you’re gone.

Life and death were really put into perspective for me on September 12, 2013 at 4 AM. I lost my Papa due to stage four lung cancer.

The way I see it is that my papa is the one that defeated cancer; cancer didn’t defeat him. For he is with Jesus now, probably fishing in a golden lake with his parents. I am so incredibly heartbroken that I won’t be able to feel his loving embrace on my birthday or Christmas, but I officially have my own guardian angel. I am so happy that he is no longer in pain and I would be selfish if I wished to have him back again. He wasn’t himself this past year. If I could go back in time to when I would decorate his bald head with feather boas and Christmas bows, I would, but I would never wish for him to come back in the state that he was so miserable in.

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I know that he can’t read this, but I’m going to pretend like he can anyway.

Dear Papa,

You will never understand how huge of an impact you’ve made on my short life. You truly are the only man that has never let me down and I couldn’t ever thank you enough for that. I pray to God that you remain proud of me as you watch over me in your fishing boat in Heaven, because I would be devastated knowing that I ever disappointed you. I promise to cherish each day of my life and be as strong as I can for you because I know that that’s what you’d want. I promise to always follow Jesus Christ so that I can see you again someday. I promise that I will always work as hard as I can at my career or anything else because I strive to be like you. I always loved watching you fix what was broking or building things from scratch. I look around my house and see little things that you’ve built and wish that you were here to build things for my future home. You always gave your best at everything and I have no doubt in my mind that my mom is the way she is because you raised her right. (Along with granny, too, of course.) Thank you for showing me real, unconditional, effortless love. It’s so beautiful knowing that I can take what you’ve taught me and apply it to my every day life. You were always the life of the party during holidays. Although there were only eight of us, you were always the one to make people cry laughing. You had the silliest jokes, the greatest smile and the BEST sense of humor. I pray to God that my future children see your amazing love and humor shine through me since they can’t actually witness it in real life. Papa, I will love you for the rest of my life and I can’t wait to kiss and hug you in the presence of Jesus Christ. You will always mean everything to me and nobody could ever replace the part of my heart that you’ve filled.

Thank you for being my papa. I love you more than anything.

Forever your granddaughter,
Jessica Nicole Schmidt

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