Monday, January 30, 2012


I was going to title this blog post, "Papaw", but Papaw didn't really draw much attention to himself and a blog post might be too much for him. :) Last week, my Papaw passed away. A blessing in many ways because his body was wearing out and the life he was living on this earth was not really living. He was in a nursing home and sick and it was time for him to pass. I feel joy knowing that right now he is whole and healed in heaven. But, upon his passing last week, my initial feeling wasn't joy. It was sadness. It was regret. Selfish regret because the last chance I had to go visit Papaw I didn't take. I was home for Thanksgiving last year and my mom and sister went to visit him and I didn't go. I was feeling a little off due to pregnancy and I didn't want to subject myself to the sights and sounds of the nursing home. I wish I would have visited one last time. I wish I could take that back, but I can't, and I didn't see him. Tears roll down my face as I type this.

My mom told me once that "would could and should" are bad words. And they are. I can't beat myself up about what I wish I would have done. I didn't do it. Life went on and now Papaw is gone. And it's okay that I didn't see him, even though it makes me sad.

His service was last Saturday at the church I grew up in. It's the church my parents got married in, the church where my other grandfather's (Papaw was technically a step-grandpa) funerals were, where my Granny's funeral was and where my best friend got married. So many pivotal moments within those walls. So many beautiful moments, so many sad moments, so many memories. I love being in that church, even though it hurts a little. It hurts to remember what it was like when Granny and Papaw were there with me, but I love being there and just remembering. Getting older is hard and losing people might be the hardest part about it.

Papaw's service was traditional. Methodist hymns were sung and we were reminded of God's promise of eternal life through believing in His Son, Christ. The gospel. And if you think about it, what it boils down to, sounds completely insane and ludicrous, until you feel it and you know it's true and real. And you do feel it and in your life you will have a chance to feel it especially if you're searching. Seek and you will find God. You will. God's word reaches everyone somehow.

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 

(also, mentioned at Bible study last week that a large number of people googled that verse thanks to Tim Tebow. pretty amazing.)

The pastor also asked us to take a moment of silent prayer and remember a way that Papaw showed you God and the goodness of life through who he was. It was easy to think of the way that Papaw did that for me. Papaw was constant and there like God is for us. Papaw was always there with Granny. I mentioned he was my step-grandfather, but, I was around him lots more than my real grandfathers. I guess Papaw did have a one-up on them since we lived in the same town, whereas my other grandfathers lived elsewhere. Still he was just there. And being there means a lot. Not leaving. Not bailing out, but being there with your family. It shows that you care. I want to be like Papaw in the lives of my family and friends. I want to be there. Also, Papaw, served the church and being a part of the church was important to him. He was active in his church for 50 years. It is important to be in a church and around believers. In a modern world where religion has become something negative, I was reminded how much good there is about being "religious".

Since Papaw was a member of the church, he always knew my Granny who was also an active member. Both of them went through divorces. Divorces reek of hurt and pain and brokenness and I don't know first hand, but I'm sure they went through that. That was just the beginning of their story because they found each other, and they made a new family and a beautiful marriage out of something that was broken. That's what God does, he can transform the broken into beautiful. I was so in awe of God's work after Papaw's funeral and so thankful that He brought Papaw in Granny's life so that I could know him.

We looked at lots of old pictures last weekend, which is one of my favorite things. Looking back through Granny and Papaw's travels and celebrations, all those little moments. Life is full of such goodness. Even in the hardest, longest days. Enjoy those little moments.

me and Papaw having a little moment :)

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