Sweet Tweets

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Papa is Home

I just got the phone call that I've been waiting for. The one that rings at almost midnight and you know what's happened. My sweet, wonderful Papa has gone home to heaven. We've been expecting this the past two weeks, and are grateful that Alzheimer's no longer has a grip on the loving man that was so full of life. Yet, I am sad that the last few years of his life were not what they could have been.

Though I never lived in the same city, or even the same state, as my maternal grandparents, at the age of four I started traveling by myself once a year to visit with my Grandmommy and Papa for a week. I continued this through college, visiting over spring break, and then well into adulthood. My relationship with them shapes so many memories of my childhood, and gave me a richness in my life that wouldn't have been there without them.

Back in June of 2004 I wrote Papa a letter. I wanted him to know that I loved and respected him and to know that definitively before the disease stole his memory of me, his first grandchild. There are so many memories, stories, and jokes of his that I want to share, but for now, this shares what kind of impact his life had on mine.

There is something about saying “I love you” that just doesn’t work to tell you how much I do. I wanted to write to you, and share with you just how much you mean to me.

I have been so blessed to have you as a grandfather. My childhood memories are filled with you telling me stories, sharing your jokes, teaching me new things and holidays and special visits filled with your humor.

What I have valued most is your gentle strength. When you speak, I listen, because I know that it has meaning behind it, and if you ever raise your voice, I pay attention because it is just so rare. I value your ability to speak gently and evenly with others, I have always been able to trust your disposition, and that is something that is unusual with others.

I admire your simple and profound faith in Jesus Christ, and the living example you have been of a Christian man experiencing a real relationship with God. I strive to follow your example in running the race and am encouraged to know that we will spend eternity together in our Father’s house.

Papa, you will never know how much your gentleness, loving kindness, humor, ability to fix just about anything, helpfulness, encouragement, character, integrity, leadership, and patience have modeled for me what I hope to find and experience in a husband. I have watched you over the years, helping in the kitchen, giving your daughters a kiss, teaching Brad how to fish, lending a hand in my school projects, vacuuming and ironing whenever we need a hand, and realized how special and uncommon that is. I only hope to be as blessed by my husband as Grandmommy, along with your children and grandchildren, have been and still are.

I will always cherish the vacations that I have been able to spend with you, starting when I was 4 and you were in Cleveland…I still have the photo album that Grandmommy made of that trip, and smile over the pictures of you teaching me how to swim.

I am looking forward to spending time with you this summer, and hoping you have some jokes to share with me.

I love you so much more than my heart could ever tell you.
Listening to: Pat Green - Family Man
via FoxyTunes

3 Remarks:

Shannon said...

Oh Melissa, I'm sorry to hear about your loss! I will be praying for you. Having lost 2 grandparents last year, I can relate. What a beautiful letter you wrote to your Papa! Wish I could've met him!
love, Shannon

Lindsay Adams said...

So sweet Melissa. Thank you for sharing.

Miss Charley said...

Melissa you have a wonderful blog here:)