Dear George

Dear George,

I hope you’re proud of me.

I’ve worked, I’ve labored, I’ve sacrificed,
to live up to your example,
you were my role model,
the role model I needed when no one else would do,
and the inspiration that pushed me to pursue
something more.

You raised the bar,
you made me believe
that I was more than I was
and pushed to me to find out
what I really am
what I can really be.

I know you’re proud of me.

My path may have meandered,
and I feel like I let you down.
I was selfish when I went out on my own,
I promised to stay,
to take care of you and Betty until the end,
but my future was out there,
my dream to write history,
our history,
your history,

I left and so did you.

I missed the end.

You knew I was gone,
and it killed me to know,
the last time I saw you,
you were barely there.

But I think you were proud.

I was your grandson,
the one you knew best,the one you mentored,
the one you inspired,
the one who studied history,
who pursued his dream.

You gave me that.

But now I am alone,
trying to complete the journey,
struggling to find the motivation,
to make you proud,
to be the best me,
to write history,
and earn the PhD.

I want to make you proud.

Here I am,
still pursuing that dream,
our shared dream,
to become a historian,
to build a life,
that reflects your love,
reflects your kindness,
and embodies your inspiration.

I will never be you,
your blood does not run within me,
we are family by force of will,
by generosity and enduring love.
she broke your heart,
she lost her way,
I didn’t understand any better than you,
but you were my grandfather,
and she was my mother.
Still, I think, I loved you more,
because you have made me who I am.

I wish you were here with me.

You were my goal,
the one who made anything seem possible,
we shared an alma mater,
you told me that Bostons were the best,
my dog and my degree,
tie me to you,
tie me to your example.

And now I am tied to no one,
I try to follow your example,
I try to wake up from this dream,
I am close to the end,
our doctorate is on the horizon,
inspire me once more,
to finish this journey,
to make you proud,
to be the best person I can be.

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