Though we did some pretty fantastic things on our vacation, the most memorable activity involved my husband, my grandmother and an arrangement of beautiful flowers from her garden.
My grandfather passed away from cancer almost exactly 12 years ago. He was an amazing man, and I adored him. I loved his deep, commanding voice. I loved his goofy sense of humor. I loved his Hawaiian print shirts. I loved that he reminded me so much of my own father -- the two are practically twins. I loved that he was never very good at being stern with his grandchildren. I loved that he would take me to the local mall and give me $5 to spend. I loved that he hated it when I would use the word "like" too frequently in conversation.
There have been times in my life where I've missed him so much it hurts. Like the day one of my best friends in high school died in a plane crash. Or the day I left my family and boarded a plane for Italy. And then the day I called my family members to announce my engagement.
But then I know he is still with me, despite him not actually being here. He was with me the day I went through the temple for the first time. He was with me the day I was sealed to my husband for eternity. He was there as I worried about becoming a mother for the first time. He smiled as my little girl took her first breath on this earth. I think she knows him better than I do.
I miss him so much, but I feel closer to him now than I ever have, and for that I'm grateful.
I loved being able to take Reece to visit Grandpa. I loved being able to show him pictures and tell him stories. I loved hearing Grandma share their love story with us.
I love that families last forever.