Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"I haven't lost my grandfathers I know exactly where they are..."

That's probably been one of the most positive things someone has said over the last two months.  These past two months have been a nightmare, a roller coaster of emotions and a million other things all rolled into something called life. 

It all started on the evening of February 2nd.  That night was my last night in my Baton Rouge house.  I had been out after work for one final fling with the plant staff and then headed home to get some last minute things done at the house before the movers came in the early AM.  Adam and I had been taking down some storage shelves in the garage when I came inside to make dinner.  As I was making dinner, Dad called.  He said he just wanted me to know that they had left my grandparents and Paw wasn't feeling very well at all.  They didn't know if he had a bug or what but just wanted to let him be able to rest comfortably so they headed home.  I went to bed around midnight, talked to Adam around 2am because he had been called out to the plant, and then was woken up again to the phone ringing around 4:30am.  I knew as soon as I saw Dad's name on the screen something awful had happened.  He said that Paw only had about 30 minutes left according to the doctors.  At that point he was unresponsive but Mom said she thought he could hear me so I got to say goodbye for the last time.  Since that early morning phone call my heart has been completely broken for our loss and for my sweet grandmother.  She and my grandpa met when she was still in high school and then married once he graduated high school.  They had been together for 60ish years and were not only husband and wife but truly best friends.  They have the kind of love that most of us can only hope for.

The movers were supposed to be at my house at 8am but I was able to leave a message that I had to cancel.  I was fortunate to be able to get a flight back to Roanoke that afternoon.  I believe that is the first time I have flown anywhere without any delays.  We had the visitation the following day and were blessed with so much food, flowers, kindness, love and prayers.  My grandfather's 2 hour visitation went well over 4 hours and my grandma stayed by his side the whole evening.  Every person that came thru the line knew so much about Chip and me - if you were around my Paw for a second you can bet that he was going to tell you about his grandkids.  One thing I will never question is how much he loved me or how proud he was of everything Chip and I both have accomplished.

My grandfather was a devoted Mason for a good part of his life.  The Masons were there for the funeral and he had a beautiful funeral and ceremony at the cemetery.  My family will never be the same without him and in these past weeks since he has gone on to Heaven we all wish we had so much more time with him.  It's hard to not be angry that he was taken so young.. 76 just seems like nothing for today's standard.  I feel so blessed to have had such a loving and supportive grandfather for the 25 years that I did.  After every dance recital, he was the first one to hug and kiss me.  I will always remember the good times and know how much I was loved.
May 2004
Forest Festival - 2006
Chip & Karmen's Wedding, 2007

Christmas 2010

Almost a month to the date that my grandfather passed, my parent's had to put their dog of 17 years to sleep.  We got Heidi when I was in second grade and she has been such a good little dog.  The last few years of her life she had to go thru so much for such a little dog. 

Then, this past Saturday, tragedy has struck our family again.  My other grandfather left us Saturday morning to go to Heaven and to join my other grandpa.  It almost doesn't seem real that we could have had so much loss in such a short amount of time.  My dad's dad was a World War II veteran and we had a beautiful military funeral in his honor.  I don't know about you, but watching a stranger's military funeral or one from a TV show is emotional enough.  There is so much honor and dignity that comes from watching the soldier's salute, fold the American flag and then present it.  A quote that many recall my grandfather saying when people said he was a war hero..."the heroes didn't come home."  

This picture was taken on Labor Day 2010.  My grandfather attended a ceremony where they retired around 200 American flags.  As each flag was burned,he raised his hand to salute each and every one.  
Something unique about my family is that both sets of grandparents have always been extremely close.  Instead of "out laws" they truly have been in laws.  This picture was taken on the 4th of July in 2009 as my grandpa's shared stories.  I can picture them setting up in Heaven swappin' stories like they did every chance they got down here on Earth. 

I am hopeful that when I see my family for Easter it will be for nothing but good and happy memories.  It is times like these that make you realize how strong you really are and how important faith really is.  It must be so hopeless for those that can't know their loved ones are living on in eternal bliss.  Thank you to each of you who have prayed for my family during these rough times.  

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."

1 comment:

  1. Hi BFF AK. I'm so sorry to read about all of the losses your family has endured recently. I'm not gonna lie, I got a little teary reading your post. It sounds like your grandfather's were great men and you were blessed to have them in your life. Now you have two more angels on your side up in Heaven. Call me if you need anything girl. I love you and thanks for sharing your heartache. Stay strong!