Today, I turn 28 years old! As of today, I am officially in my LATE twenties and fast approaching the next decade.
I’m not one to get too ruffled about birthdays and growing older. I think it’s because in my mind, I think I will always feel 23. I heard once that everyone has a certain age in their mind that they will always feel. Even when they’re 80, they will always feel that certain age. Mine is 23.
But today, I’m embracing being 28.
My 27th year was fantastic. I thought it would be fun today, in honor of my 28th birthday, to list my 5 most favorite memories from my 27th year.
5. This isn’t a favorite memory because it’s happy. But it’s a favorite memory because it’s important. This summer, my beloved Grandpa Pettit passed away at the age of 86. He had always been a steadfast, strong presence in my life, and even though I knew he was aging and encountering rapidly progressing health troubles, I never quite grasped that a time would come where he wouldn’t be here. His illness and deterioration came suddenly and left all of the family distraught in its wake.
The blessing comes in the fact that my July wedding schedule was bizarrely open. I didn’t book a single July wedding, but the rest of my season was jam-packed full. I wondered why that might be; wondered why I had such an open schedule during July. And then, I realized why.
My grandpa took a turn for the worst the second week of July. The next week was a solid stretch of hospital visits which turned into hospice care at home, as well as grieving, coping and remembering. I was able to be by his side the whole week. I was able to spend very important moments by his side in his last days, as well as offer support and help to my grandma, my mom and the rest of the family.
Grandpa passed away on Tuesday, July 16th, 2013, and life hasn’t been the same since. His death has left us with a hole that won’t likely be filled, ever. His death was one of the worst moments of my 27th year in a way, but the time I was able to spend with him leading up to his death are some of the most precious. And knowing he is no longer in pain, and is laughing, golfing and playing cards up in Heaven; that is one of the best memories of this year.
4. Christmas 2012. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was the last time that the majority of my family would be together, while my grandpa was still in good health. We talked, laughed, played the infamous dice game, and cherished our time together. We took a family photo that will be cherished forever.
3. Our vacation to California in October, 2013. We don’t see our California family very often. Matt’s dad, step mom and three siblings live in Sacramento and we see them every 2-3 years. This year, we flew out to spend a week with family, and to go to Matt’s aunt’s wedding in wine country. It was a beautiful trip, filled with lots of quality family time.
2. July 4th and 5th, 2013. These two days were some of my most favorite days of the whole year. They were largely spent with my parents, my sister, her husband, Matt, myself and Remy, out on the boat, in the sun. We swam, cruised, snacked, chatted and tried Stand-Up Paddle Boarding. We watched the 4th of July fireworks, had our family photos taken and had a bonfire with s’mores. They were deliciously slow and deliberate days spent with some of my most favorite people. These were also the last few days before my grandpa’s health took a turn for the worst.
1. Getting our poodle puppy Remy has been the highlight of my 27th year. I became a doggy mama, learned a lot about patience and adjusting to new circumstances, and have found so much joy in loving our little girl. Life is so much better with her in it!
With that, I say goodbye to my 27th year, and hello to being 28! I hope this year is even better than the last!