When COVID first hit, I remember telling Jamie that I didn’t want our family to become a statistic because I didn’t know if I could handle our family looking different because of this virus.
Truth is, as of today, like so many other families right now, I no longer have a choice in the matter. You fought so hard, but your body finally said enough is enough. The good Lord took you home. He took you home to be reunited with Grandma, all of your siblings, other family members, and your many friends. We already miss you so much!
You taught me so many things in my forty years, but some of the most important ones are to always be kind, to smile often, to love like Jesus, to work hard and save every penny possible not just for myself but for others who may need it, to take time and visit the beach, and to enjoy every meal I can get. Grandma’s cooking couldn’t be compared to anyone else’s. We all learned to love food because of her. You both made sure we were always fed.
Thank you for always having your door open. I won’t ever forget picking beans and breaking them in the basement, swinging on the swing set in the back yard, picking apples, eating dip dogs and onion rings, and your neck rubs as I sat in your kitchen. I won’t ever forget you being here for football games, special occasions, your great-grandkids’ birthdays, and holidays.
The last time I entered your door was just a few days before Christmas. I will cherish that moment forever and so will all of the kids. I wish I would have opened your door more often in recent years. Sickness, being a mom to so many, and life in general seemed to get in the way too many times. But, thank you for always checking in on us and showing us how much you cared.
Not having the opportunity to open your door once more has came too quickly. While you were in the hospital, I was looking forward to the day I could run up your steps and through your door. I was counting down the days until I could see your smile and sit and talk with you about how God healed you. I was longing for you to finally make it back home. I always said that you were going to outlive us all. And, I truly believed it.
We both know that’s not going to happen. But, as I sit here, I can imagine how grand your heavenly home is. I might be just a little jealous. This old world seems to be crumbling around us.
Your strength and determination have taught me to keep going and never give up no matter what’s going on around us. Thank you for loving all of us so well. Thank you for teaching me so much and leading by example. I don’t ever remember a time in my life where you criticized me for anything I was doing. I could have used some criticism every now and then. You chose a different route: unconditional love. Your life always showed me how I needed to be living.
There was never any question whether you loved us or not. You simply showed it. I will miss our talks about your bowling scores, my kids, and all the times we reminisced about the past. Most of all, I will miss hearing you say, “I love you, too, sweetheart.” I long for just one more visit and just one more hug, but I know Heaven is too sweet to wish for you to be back here with us.
You really were the greatest grandpa! Enjoy your final destination and reward. You deserve it so much! It was an honor having you love me for forty years!
I love you, Papaw and can’t wait to see you soon. Life goes by so fast, so I know it won’t be much longer.
Matthew 25:23 – His Lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.