The same day, I got the phone call from my Mom that my Grandaddy - my last grandparent - had gone to be with Jesus. And so, with sick bodies and sad hearts, we welcomed 2013. We didn't get to visit our dear friends in Arkansas....instead, the two of us (still sick) drove the 6 hour drive home to Alabama for my Grandaddy's funeral.
|My last picture with my Grandaddy - Christmas 2012|
I know this is kind of a bummer of a post, and a rough beginning to my 2013 blogs - but there is a lot to be grateful for here too. Though death is never easy, I am grateful that my Grandaddy is at rest and at peace finally. It has been so hard to watch such a proud, stubborn, independent man get weaker and more dependent over the last few years and months. I am grateful that he is healed and whole and finally in Heaven - reunited with my precious Grandmother - his wife of 43 years.
I'm grateful we made it back to his funeral. If we had gotten the flu even a day or two later than we did, we wouldn't have been able to come. I'm thankful that I got to grieve with my family, and that I got to say a proper goodbye. I was heartbroken I wouldn't get to sing at his funeral - but my Mom surprised me with that too. They'd found the recording from me singing "How Great Thou Art" at my Grandmother's funeral, and played it for my Grandaddy's. It was so special to be a part of his service, even when I wasn't physically able that day.
I am grateful we got one more Christmas with my Grandaddy this year... one more time to see our stockings all "hung by the chimney with care" - the stockings with all the CRAZY nicknames he has given us all through the years! (My nickname is EKK... it's a long story... as it is with most of our nicknames... ;)
I am grateful I got a chance to give him one more monkey for his collection - which is a long-standing family joke! I've brought him monkeys from all over the place in the last few years... including Thailand and Africa, and he loved his new Policeman Monkey (which I told him was to keep the rest of them in line!)
I am grateful I got one more visit with him before we left for Arkansas - just me and him and Rusty. He could barely hold his eyes open that day, and he kept apologizing to me. "I'm sorry EKK," he said, "I'm just too sick and tired. I can't even enjoy our visit. But someday soon, I'll feel better and we'll have a good visit then."
And I know that "someday soon" we will.