I'm not really sure what to write or how to start. When we got to Texas earlier this week I started reminiscing about times spent with Papa and Gan (my dad's parents). Papa is no longer with us and I was thinking about a picture that mom has of me when I was a little girl, with my hair in rollers standing outside with Papa and Gan on Easter morning (after hunting eggs) and just giggling. (Gan was still doing "okay" when I was doing my reminiscing.)
Papa has been with the Lord for 13 years now. There have been many memorable moments in both mine and my cousins lives since he has been gone. We have all missed him terribly. There is a void there that can never be filled. He was one special man. His funeral was a testimony to that, when during the procession from the funeral home to the church, business men, families, etc. who couldn't come to the funeral stood outside their places of work to watch the procession. The church was filled...people were standing in the back, along the sides and out in the foyer. Papa was so special to so many. I also think of how Papa would be so proud of Emma. She is a people person just like him. We always joked that he would be a greeter at Wal-Mart one day and I'm sure Emma would be working right there with him. I think of how he and Gan raised my dad to be a great and Godly man with high morals full of integrity and honesty. I love my dad and am so proud that Emma has a wonderful Papa!
Fun Memories: Almost each summer, if not each summer, growing up I would spend a few days to a week with Papa and Gan. Many summers I went camping just them and me (we also had LARGE family campouts that were wonderful). We would go swimming, fishing, and shopping. They never made me take a bath or brush my teeth. :) Gan never washed my clothes because I wanted to be able to dump them in the dirty clothes when I got home and not have to put them away. If I found something I wanted I would always tell Papa that there was something that I "liked" and I most likely got that item within a few days. Gan always bought me the unhealthy foods like frosted flakes, cocoa pebbles, fruity pebbles, cokes, cheeto's and all the things I couldn't have at home. Sometimes Gan and I would go visit Papa at work at eat Mexican (of course). We always had our secret...I would whisper to Papa and tell him I liked cheese (cheese dip) and he would order it. (Emma's Papa (my dad) has started ordering that for her!!) Papa would sometimes give me money and Gan would take me shopping to buy things...I always come home with something for mom and dad. I remember when we lived in Ohio they came to visit for my birthday. They were able to come to school on Grandparent's Day to eat lunch with me and they found out that my second grade classroom needed money for some animals so they donated it so that we could have them. Papa made the best jelly in the world. Even after he was gone there were still bags of frozen juice to make jelly out of. He loved to make jelly and give it away. I always enjoyed going to VBS at their church. Gan would always work and take me with her. We had the weekly Friday night out to eat and trip to Wal-Mart. Great Christmases and Summer's together. It was hard to lose Papa and like I said there will always be a void but now it is Gan's turn to go home and be with the Lord. She has lead a long, good and healthy life up until the last few months. She is tired and ready to meet her Maker. We all have a peace and know where she will be but that doesn't take away the hurt or the sadness. We will ALL miss her and even though we are losing one person it kind of feels like we are losing two. By losing her we lose a whole part...the common bond. It will definitely be different now. As I write this Daddy is preparing to board a plane in Finland to begin his journey to the US. Mom is already here...she arrived last week just to visit family. Josh, Emma and I came to Texas earlier this week to attend his brother's graduation from basic training and to visit family. This turn for the worst came rather unexpectedly. I am so greatful that Emma and I were able to spend time with Gan in January and that I was able to spend time with her Tuesday while she was still coherent. Emma knew that we were going to see Gan while we were here so doesn't quite understand why she can't see her and why she can't "push her" in the wheel chair. Emma was very concerned today when she saw me crying. I tried to explain to her that Mommy really was fine but that she was just sad for right now. I told her that Gan is going to see Jesus and Emma said "I want to see Jesus". I know she doesn't understand things completely yet but I thought that was so sweet and innocent it lifted my spirits. On this Easter weekend I am so thankful as I think about what our Lord and Savior did for us. If God hadn't sent his only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross as payment for our sins so that He could rise again we would not have the opportunity to have eternal life with Him FOREVER. Because of His compassion and love for each of us He gave His Son. I am so thankful that I know both Papa and Gan were believers in the Lord. I know where Papa is and where Gan is going. There is no doubt in my mind that I will see them again one day. Even though this Easter weekend is overshadowed by a dark cloud on this earth it is also a glorious one beacause we have HOPE! Do you have that hope?
I love you, Gan.