Oh when I get where I'm going, there'll be only happy tears

My grandfather died when I was nineteen years old. My pawpaw was the closest thing to a father that I ever had. I loved him, loved him deeply. About a year and a half after he died, I wrote this short piece for a creative writing class. I figured sharing it here would be the perfect tribute to my Pawpaw.

My grandfather was very ill my senior year of high school. He never, however, lost his sense of humor. When he found out I was visiting Canada to check out the University of Windsor where I had been accepted, he started calling me “Maple Leaf.” He also asked me to bring him back a maple leaf. 

The time I spent in Canada was a whirlwind. Between visiting the college, checking out Windsor, and winding up in the hospital, I didn't take the time to bring him back a maple leaf. I remembered when we got back home, and I felt horrible for forgetting.

He died before I left for university in August. When looking through my purse before the funeral, I found a Canadian penny. A Canadian penny has a maple leaf on the back. My mother's name is also Penny, so it was the perfect way to say “Goodbye.” I thought to myself, “Pawpaw, you can take your maple leaf with you.” We buried it with him.

I don't see many maple leafs anymore. When I see one, however, I think of my grandfather. Although I'm not in Canada anymore, I am still my grandfather's maple leaf. I do plan to return to Canada someday, and when I come back, I will bring home some maple leafs from Canada to put on his grave.

Don't worry, Pawpaw, you'll still get your maple leaf from Canada one of these days. :)

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