Tag Archives: death

the brother–grandma’s room

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the brother

From inside Grandma Mary’s room we see Grandma’s bed and many pictures of family lives through the ages. Grandma grew up in this house and her husband had married into this farm life. Together Grandma and Grandpa had worked this farm. Grandpa died in an accident and that same accident took grandma’s legs after a long, failed attempt to save them. Hospitals you see, can be dirty out in the country, and sometimes infections creep in and then it was just easier to take her legs, especially when you take in to account Grandma’s diabetes. Her legs just weren’t going to heal. So now Grandma sits in bed in the nicest first floor bedroom in the house, with the best view of the farmland and the sky, and she reads her bible, prays, sings and talks to little Lily at the beginning and the end of each day. They talk about how Lily can one day be a princess of the most important kind. She can be a princess to the King Jesus as she grows to serve her family and one day have a family of her own. She talks to Lily about using her “princess voice” and what it looks like to  serve others. Lily’s mom is the living model of this behavior; she serves Grandma, serves her husband who continues to work the farm even though he, like his long departed father in law, married into it and it wasn’t his own, and she also cares for her nieces and nephews,  home schooling them along with Lily, who is Rachel’s only child.

 

 

Freckles and eggs

Rachel and Grandma

recovering from dad’s death.

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After dad died on September 4 I cried. I cried a lot; my body hurt and my mind swelled and headaches were many and long. I found it helped to cry, as if to relieve pressure from my overburdened brain. I got back to work and cried easily when someone mentioned loss, or when I saw someone much older than dad walking slowly. I wished it could’ve been dad, growing old, walking slowly. I cried when I heard a girl call out “Papa, watch me!”. I thought of all the grandsons and the one granddaughter, growing up without their Papa. I thought especially of Thomas who was too young to remember, and of Lily because she’d been raised by my folks since December of 2010. I thought of my mom who is now a single mom to a pre-school girl. It seemed the tears came easy and I began to embrace them. I wouldn’t indulge them by thinking bad thoughts but I let the tears, and the memories come. I decided that because God had made me, and made me to love my father, then HE must have made me to cry as well. And he tells us he gathers up all our tears. I cried in the shower and on the way to work.  I would cry thinking of mom, doing this all alone after being with him since she was 14.  I thought of my brothers, still wandering the earth lost.I thought of my sister who did EVERYTHING to keep dad alive. I cried, I embraced the tears as they let pressure go and healing in. I cried in front of the boys and my husband, cried in front of co-workers and strangers. It was just a part of who I was. I didn’t dwell on it, I didn’t make a point to conjure up images to make myself cry, but I didn’t fight it when it came on it’s own.
This grief has done a few things in my heart. I find myself more quiet, less wanting small talk or even to talk at all. That was hard while working. I was also somewhat  impatient with stupid stuff. Grown people acting like crazy, hormonal teenagers. I did my best in my responses but sometimes my frustration reached the front.  This took me a few months to get through and by February of this year I felt like being social, like being nice, again. Scott told me I could quit work because things were going well with him at work. I had planned to give my notice after a co-worker returned from her medical leave, but then things changed. One phone call, one night, it all changed……. 
 
To be Continued.

up and at ’em

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It’s amazing how I get up “early” when I go to bed at a decent hour. A side effect of working outside the home for 14 months is that I’m now more of a morning person than I’ve ever been. With Scott’s new schedule at his new job (which is why we are moving), he will be getting up around 4 in the morning and needing to be asleep no later than 9 just to stay healthy. So we are both trying to adjust things in the “early to bed, early to rise” direction. This morning was no different. He was up making breakfast at 7 and I rolled out at 7:30, getting my jog bra, jog shorts and running shoes on to go “take my exercise” as my Grandma Floyd used to say. I walked/jogged for about thirty minutes. That’s something else I’ve changed since last posting last year, I’ve become a jogger. I guess we call ourselves runners, or athletes, but since what I do is little more than a hoppy fast walk I’ll call it jogging if that’s alright with you.  

Today I’m working on painting the living room. I promise I will fill in all the backstory, but the best place to start (and the way my mind works) is to start right here and then pick out subjects to elaborate on. So here’s a few topics to look forward to (and typing this will keep me accountable). 

 

kids homeschool 

turning 40

becoming an athlete

crying freely

asking God to show me how He loves me

getting fired (Scott)

quitting my job (me)

God answering years of prayers, avalanche style (fast and furious!)

Okay that should keep me busy for awhile. I hope you all have a GREAT Saturday and take time to work a little, rest a little and play a LOT! 

A week since you went home

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Dad,

It’s been a week since you left. What a busy week it was! It was busy with funeral plans and attending the viewing and funeral and burial. Three separate days of events. Sunday we could rest, in theory, but even Sunday was busy. Let me back up.

After the viewing we arrived home to find your little toy Poodle, Gibbs, quite disoriented. Something wasn’t quite right. Momma decided she and her sister Susan would go to the vet and get Gibbs checked out. They didn’t get back home until 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Saturday was your funeral.

Your service was beautiful, the video momma made for you was just lovely. Everybody cried. You had about 270 folks at your funeral, give or take another 100. Everybody cried at one point or another. Lakia and Allison sang the song you wanted them to sing, and they did a great job. Gary, Darryl (all the way from Colorado) Bruce, Carole, Denise and Felton all shared what you meant to them, or read scriptures.

Once we were back home momma laid down and slept for a few hours. After being at the vet, and then emotionally drained from the funeral, she was exhausted. We thought Sunday would be a day of rest but that turned out a bit crazy too. You see some drunk driver came barreling down our street and slammed right upside Aunt Susan’s car, then proceeded to swerve up into the driveway. It seems they broke their axle and their front wheel came off into the yard. Dennis, your neighbor, saw it all happen (he was up early! ) and followed the drunk all the way out to Princess Anne, where the police caught up with him and arrested him. Susan had to get a rental and the tow truck came for their car. But the best part was that YOU had the foresight to install security cameras so we got to watch the crash over and over, from three different angles. What a welcome distraction to an otherwise very sad day!

Monday it was time to see you off to your  final resting place. We rode in the limos you ordered all the way out to your cemetery. The service was quick but very well done. You were buried with full military honors. Complete with a bugler and a gun salute. Your friend Chaplain Moore did your service, he did a great job and to your satisfaction did share the good news of Jesus with the small crowd in attendance.

 

After we arrived from your burial, your best friends stayed here and had lunch with Momma and us kids. They laughed and shared stories of you, shared of your desire to have relationships with your co-workers and not just be their supervisor. Mom said one fella had told her “Wayne was the only boss I had who wanted to go see a movie with me, just to be with me.” They all marveled at your desire to be friends to all these different people from all walks of life.

Over the weekend I heard a few people say after the funeral “wow, I really didn’t know him!” The National Guard guys didn’t know you were so involved in ministry, and the ministry folks didn’t know you were so involved in National Guard. Mom says that’s because you gave 100% to every single thing you did. I also think it’s because when you were with someone, it was all about THEM, not about you or your accomplishments or what you’ve been busy doing, but really about the one you were with at that exact moment.  Wow, what a person, to give their honest and full attention to hundreds of different people throughout your life, making each one feel loved and special.

I want to be like you when I grow up. Lots of people want to be like you when they grow up.

I love you daddy and miss you. I told you I was going to miss you but that I’d be okay. So far that’s been true. Even after you’ve gone you’re still showing me things and teaching me truths, slowly and in love. What a gift you are and how incredibly lucky I am to have had you for my earthly father.

Always your daughter,

Paige

on to glory

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Daddy went to Glory this morning at 12:46 a.m. Mom and I were with him. She had exactly what she wanted, which was to be laying with him when he went. He gurgled and I leaned in close sobbing and said “it’s okay to go, it’s okay to go.” He breathed out his last. We wept. Thank you for following us on this journey. I hope to know by this afternoon exactly when the viewing and memorial will be.

Paige

I took this yesterday afternoon. He never did wake up all day. He never “rallied”. He never got a high fever. He was contrary to the statistics. Keep in mind the statistics say someone with primary liver cancer should have been an alcoholic or have had a form of Hepatitis. Dad was neither. Dad marched to the beat of his own drummer, the drummer being of course our High Holy Priest, Jesus. Jesus who, according to Hebrews 7:25 “lives to make intercession for us. “

 

 

One of the last things mom said to dad was that he was consistent. He never strayed to the right or to the left. He just pressed forward. Press on daddy. I will see you again.