Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dear Papa,

I wish I was saying this to you instead of writing it here. Maybe you'll see it - or maybe someone will read it to you. Maybe I'll get a chance to fly down to Florida and tell you in person. I hope so.

I love you so, so much. You are the best grandfather a girl could ever ask for, and I'm so lucky you are MY Papa. And let's be honest - yes, your heart is definitely big enough for the 13 grandchildren you've been blessed with, and you've brought joy to all of our lives. But I'm your favorite, and someday, when you're gone, I'm going to miss you the most.

I mean, there may be some disagreement among the cousins, but I'm about 1000% sure I'm your favorite. I'm your Ali, your Ali B., the firstborn who snoozed on your shoulder like a sack of potatoes. From the moment I was born, we've had a special bond, and I will treasure it forever. Along with all the wonderful memories of times we've shared. Things like feeding the sea gulls French fries at Thompsons Clam Bar; swimming with you and Toffee at the lake in Plymouth; raiding your candy drawer; all those times you brought over doughnuts on Sundays when you still lived in Andover; learning to play cards at your knee; learning to beat you at cards (or at least figure out when you were cheating, you dirty old man); your beautiful swoopy handwriting at the top of the Up-and-Down-the-River score sheets; the way you always dive right into the water no matter how cold it is; the way I will forever associate Honey Nut Cheerios with you (they're still "Papa's Cheerios" to me); the time at the Cape when you took me for evening swims at the beach when no one was around because I had chicken pox; celebrating my graduation from college with you.

The way you say "Hey, Ali" whenever you see me.

Smithshire Estates, Plymouth, Venice - all my favorite places to visit, because I was always visiting you.

I wish I was visiting you now. I love you, Papa.

Trip to D.C. after my graduation

At the hippy drum circle in Venice

My wedding day