Before I jump in to the meat of today's post, let's all take a second and welcome Annie Marie Hall to the world. Born this morning, to my lovely cousin Christine and her husband Jeremy, Annie (which is just the cutest name ever!) will join her sister Lily in making one of the sweetest families I know.
While I am rejoicing that my family has gained a new little lovely, my heart is full of the most immense sorrow. Yesterday, my dearest grandfather, Peter August Gomes, Jr. passed away. We've known and expected his death for a few months now, but not that long ago, he was bossing me around and checking in on my day to day business.
I had a very special relationship with my grandfather. He was my favorite man in the whole world. He was superman. He could do anything. As a child, I was certain that he must be bff's with the President of the United States, because Grandpa knew just everything and just everyone. People would ask me if I was knew "Pete" just about every where I went. Grandpa was just that involved.
I loved this man with my whole heart and soul. I based my very identity on his very identity. I am Pete's Granddaughter. Through and through. I cannot speak ill of the man. I know he has flaws. I have seen the handiwork of some of his greater ones (i.e. much of my father), but to me he was never anything but wonderful. He loved me, provided for me, and he showed up all the time. No occasion was complete without him. I became Catholic largely because of who he has been to me.
I remember his smell and how it changed over the years from one of cigar smoke to one of clean laundry. I remember his gruff expectations when I was a child and how much delight and fear I had whenever I sat next to him at the dinner table. I was "Baby", always. Even at 23, when I was going through Catechism to be confirmed, he would introduce me to his church buddies saying, "And this is Baby". I was his girl. Sweet and obedient always for that man. I would have done anything for him.
I have grieved for so many people in the last few years my life. I have been plagued by death and cannot seem to run far enough or fast enough for death to not catch up to me. Never, though, has there been grief like this. A piece of my heart died yesterday. I know I will heal, I know it's not tragic, I know that he needed to go. I know most certainly that what he has been and is still to me will never change. I know that he is still with me as much as he ever was, because he made me so much of who I am. But still my heart is broken and I am lost, because this man, my favorite man, is dead.
I honestly cannot wait to be held by him in Heaven.