For all of you family members who may be feeling cut off because you can't be here with the rest of us...
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
But You grandchildren need to get cracking. There are 35 of you and as of right now I have something from 14 of us. I NEED your parts of the tribute by Friday afternoon at the very latest. That includes photos. I won't have time to write the tribute and put together a power point if I don't at least have everything together by then. Seriously. I'm getting stressed here. I was really hoping I would have something from more of you. Especially since if I don't have a picture of you I won't be able to include you in the power point and your parents will come after me. ME! Help me... Help you. I love you all! (But I'd love you more if you'd send me your stuff.)
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Your parents have decided that the tribute at Grampa's funeral will be from his grandchildren. They would like us to put together some thoughts about what Grampa meant to us for me to read at the funeral. Since there are SO many of us I won't be able to put in all of our specific memories, but you could put in favorite things to do with Grampa, or favorite things he said to you, or things about him you really loved or admired. You could make it as long as you like, but I will only be able to use small segments, so if you have something specific you want said please make sure you let me know that and I will do my very best to have it in there.
We are thinking of putting up pictures of each grandchild as I read what each of you wrote, however I am expecting some repetition, so again I will do my very best to have your picture with what you said. Not all of us have pictures of ourselves with Grampa, but for those who do I will try to use them. (Some of the pictures with Grampa are pretty dated, so if you would rather have a more recent picture of yourself without him please let me know. I would be happy to crop your head out and put in mine since I haven't found a picture of me and Grampa together yet.) If you have pictures or video that you would like used please email them to me. (You can find my email address in my profile on blogger or facebook.
If you have something ready for me to put in the tribute please either email it to me or, even better, leave it in the comments for this post. I think it would be nice for people to be able to read them, since I probably won't be able to put everything into the tribute.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
My Grampa went home to be with Jesus very early this morning. He took his last breaths with his family around him. He went from being trapped in a body that couldn't see or hear very well to seeing and hearing things we can only imagine. Where once his every step was a struggle, I can imagine him running towards the open arms of his Savior. We will all miss him. How could we not? My Grampa was an amazing man of God, and loved his whole family with all of his heart, and he let us all know it.
Around seven years ago my Gramma and Grampa celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. All of us grandchildren wrote what our grandparents meant to us and we put it together with pictures in an album. I had written something about him a few years earlier, and had intended to save it for his funeral, but thought better of it. Since the only person I really wanted to read it was Grampa, it seemed pretty silly to save it for a time when he wouldn't be here. So I gave it to him along with what I had written for the two of them. I thought of it yesterday while I was holding his hand and singing to him in the hospital.
"My Grampa has big strong hands...
I can imagine how they must have made me look so very small when he held me that first time. And how his face must have looked as he gazed down at his first grandchild. It's easy because I've seen him give that look to every tiny new grandchild he holds in his big strong hands. He was always so gentle, as if afraid that the precious treasure he held would break in his grasp.
He fed me cracklings while I sat happily on his lap with his big strong hands. I was his "little bird". Once, his big strong hands gave me a tiny spank when I was a very bad little girl. My tears broke his heart and he never could do it again, even when I needed it. Years have come and gone and his big strong hands have always been there if I needed someone to guide me through trouble, or pick me up and dust me off when I fell, or just to hold my hand quietly on the couch.
We still hold hands, Grampa and me, and we smile at each other and his eyes twinkle at me and he says, "I sure hope your Gramma doesn't catch me holding hands with such a pretty girl." And we laugh.
His hands have changed since he first held me on his lap. They look a little different, and they shake most of the time, but they're still big and strong. They're the strongest when they're folded, and he's talking to Jesus, asking Him to be near to all of us, and bring us to His side.
Someday I know I'll ache inside, because my Grampa will go away... But I know I'll have a peace way down deep because Grampa and me will always be together in the same place... Resting in grace and love and held in our Father's big strong hands."
And I am aching inside. For myself, my family, and especially for my Gramma. I could never ache for him now. We all know he has reached a place that he has been longing to go to. We know we will see him again. But of course it still hurts. I wish I could sit on the couch and hold his hand and rest my head on his shoulder the way I did just a few short weeks ago. I would like him to tease me and I would love to see that smile he always had when he was making a joke. But I can't. So it hurts.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Sigh. I know, it's been pretty slow on here. Please don't give up on me though. I would love to write something, but I don't have anything quick to put up here. Since the only thing on my mind is my family that's what a post would probably need to be about. And since things in my family are centered around my Grampa in the hospital, it's hard for me to come up with words that express everything we're all feeling. It would take me a long time. And since I am spending most of my time with my family I don't have a long time to sit and write a post.
So I haven't been reading or writing.
Grampa has been ready to meet his Savior and King for a long time now, and it isn't looking like he will have much longer to wait. The rest of us are taking time to be with him and each other as much as possible. We would all cherish your prayers, especially for my Gramma who is getting ready to say goodbye to the love of her life, for a while at least. It's hard to watch both of them suffering, but beautiful too. I don't think there is any truer love than the love my grandparents share. Her touch still soothes him like no other, and when she takes his face in her hands and speaks to him and looks into his eyes... Sigh. I cry every time. What an amazing legacy both of them are leaving for all of us. I am truly a very blessed girl to be a part of this family.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Yesterday my Grampa, the best Grampa ever, had to go to the hospital. He's been having some health troubles, actually lots lately, and it's getting pretty hard for my Gramma to look after him. He probably needs to be in a nursing home, which is so hard on both of them. Anyways, Grampa needed some blood last night and he had to stay in the hospital. He started at City Hospital and then got moved over to St. Paul's, in an ambulance of course. My friend Sheila was the ambulance driver. When he got to his room a girl from Gramma and Grampa's church turned out to be his nurse. So God was looking after him, and us, by giving us friends we trust to look after him.
Grampa, of course, was his usual self and wanting a sing-a-long in the hospital. He took my hand and looked into my eyes and sang. I'm pretty sure he wanted us all to sing with him, but I didn't know the words...
One day at a time sweet Jesus
That's all I'm asking from you.
Just give me the strength
To do everyday what I have to do.
Yesterday's gone sweet Jesus
And tomorrow may never be mine.
Lord help me today, show me the way
One day at a time.
Good words for all of us. I love my Grampa.
UPDATE: It was a harder day today for all of us. Grampa had some moments where he was upset and so, of course, the rest of us were upset. God has him in His hands though. My Auntie Orla is working on the ward Grampa is staying on so it is good for all of us to know he has a family member there with him through the night. I don't know what tomorrow will bring for my grampa, but for now he is in the hospital and he just seems so... Sigh. Weak I guess. Frail even. It's hard to see my vibrant grampa looking like that, but I know it would be even harder to be far away. So if you are praying for my family, pray for all of Grampa's children who can't be here with us. I know that this has to be ripping their hearts out.
Love and hugs to all of you in my family who are far away and wishing you were here. Lord help us today, show us the way.
One day at a time.