I wasn't going to write about this past week until my cousin sent me a tweet asking me why. Well, you know what, last week wasn't just about saying goodbye to my grandfather, it was about family. It was about being there for the sadness and embracing each other through it all!
When I got the news about my papa dying, my first thought was relief. He was finally hanging out with my grandma and maybe even enjoying a hot dog smothered in chili! My second thought was I have to get to my mom. She is a fully capable, wonderful woman, but I couldn't imagine her angst, sadness and uncertainty of the upcoming events. I couldn't help, but I could be there. For her. That was my goal.
Along with my dad, my sister, my aunts, my uncles, my cousins and all the of the spouses we said goodbye to papa. I won't go as far as to say it all went off without a hitch, but I will say this; for the most part, we are one AWESOME group of people! We gathered around, sang songs, prayed and praised a wonderful man. He deserved the accolades and the love and the many group hugs. Papa will be missed, but he is happier now, in a great place and better off than he has been in years.
And on a side note, turns out if you put my dad, mom, sister and I in a car we are a traveling stand up comedy routine. At one point, I think I was laughing so hard that my head was on the floorboard and my feet were kicking the door. After my dad made his fifth "gee manedy" statement it was all I could do to control myself. My poor mom was trying to mourn without giggling along the ol' southern highway.
After ALL of the saying goodbye with many many preachers and prayers and songs, my family did what we do best. We celebrated a life and continued on... It's what papa would want.
My nieces said it best...
We all loved our papa but life goes on and the celebration of a long life and "going home" is what it is truly all about!
Please notice my late thirty something cousin in one of his brother's Boy Scout shirts. We are so proud.
Fly Uncle Bob, fly.....
And finally we were home...
Life goes on, and we are all thankful it does.
PS: If I had a million dollars and a half, I would give my in-laws it all for putting up with us for a week and a half of sick and another week of me being gone. They win the prize! Not sure what it is, but they win it!