June 25, 2007
To the family and friends of my Grandfather, Frank Wojciechowski
First of all, please accept my deepest regrets for not being able to physically attend the passing on of my grandfather. There is nowhere else I would rather be right now than in this room, paying my last respects.
My grandfather was a great man. I saw him as a caring, loving man who has always been there for me. I felt privileged to know him better than many had the opportunity to, from living in his home when I was young, to visiting him for weeks on end over my summers while growing up. I remember vividly us going to breakfast at diners, then taking car rides to his favorite spot along the water, just the two of us. From crab fishing in the harbors, to creating my own little wooden masterpieces in his basement; I always valued the time we spent together.
The military has kept me away from home more often than not. I would visit New Jersey at intervals I considered to be frequent, but now I wish I was around more often. I suppose that is what everyone wishes when a loved one is no longer around, that they were around that person more often. On my last trip to Jersey, I visited my grandfather’s house. He was in a rehabilitation center at the time. Without his presence there, the house felt a little foreign, as if something was missing. I imagine that is how I will see it from now on, like a piece is missing.
I wish more than anything that I could be there, to comfort my grandmother with her tremendous loss. I wish I could be present today to spend time with my father and family, because a funeral is a vivid reminder of our mortality and uncertainty on this earth.
I have prepared this note to be read today, to somehow comfort myself in knowing I am absent, but my final words will be heard.
Pop, to me you have always signified a pillar of strength, a mentor of which to seek knowledge, a model in which to emulate, and a friend on whom to rely. Pop, you will be missed by me more than you know. I will forever cherish the times we have shared together and will attempt to pass on to others the same love you have shown to me.
May you forever rest in peace,