10 Years

I grew up in the most loving and stable household with two families who loved me and vice versa. Spending quality time with both sides has always been my favorite activity as I’m extremely close with my grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins. My papa wasn’t my mom’s biological father, but he was as real to me as blood could get. Papa was one of my favorite people growing up. Every time I spent a weekend at Grams and Papa’s house, I could be found following in his footsteps 99% of the time. He taught me the importance of a good ice cream sandwich, how to fix old cars, how to play pool and love unconditionally. I will always remember the stench of his sweat mixed with Old Spice deodorant (not my favorite smell), the time he stayed up all night with my cousin Conor and me building lego houses, the Tanaka of Tokyo dinner where he ate four bowls of ice cream before a giant hot fudge sundae at Ghiradelli, and the many times he kept me awake with his snoring. Although Papa passed away 10 years ago, I still think about him every day. He was my best friend and my hero. I will love and miss him forever.