Thursday, July 14, 2011

Saying Goodbye isn't Easy...

The past month has been emotionally trying for me. Many of you know the Hubby and I recently moved and, for obvious reasons, was full of sad "goodbye's". But one of those "goodbye's" came unexpected. And that "goodbye" was to my grandpa, who passed from this world on July 4th.

My mom called me on Thursday, June 30th, to let me know Papaw was dying. So, the next day, I boarded a plane to Paducah, Kentucky and prayed he would hang on just a little bit longer. And he did. I got to hold his hand and kiss his head of black hair (yes, even at 85!...he's Syrian). Even in his hospital bed, hooked up to oxygen, he was just as he always was - so happy to see me, full of love and kind words even though it exhausted him to say them. Including the second thing he said to me, which was, "Where are my grandbabies?" :)

All growing up we spent July 4th weekend with family - many times at Papaw's lodge by Kentucky Lake, setting off legal (cough...cough) fireworks. This time, I spent the entire day with my mom and uncles and aunts and cousins, all of us grieving together what we knew was eminent. The only one that wasn't sad was Papaw. He kept saying, "Don't you worry about me. I'll be fine. You take care of yourself." He was ready to go. He was eager to go. He was strong and encouraging and loving even in death.

And so he passed in his sleep on July 4th, 2011.

It's hard realizing he's gone. I can still smell his house, hear him snore from the family room, see him with that video camera attached to his eye--how I loathed that video camera back then, wearing jeans and a cowboy hat on the beach in Florida, hear his laughter - oh, how he laughed, see that blue Cadillac which, as a child, drove me to Toys R Us. He was the kindest man I knew, he'd do anything for anyone, he always smiled and laughed and said how much he loved you. And if you knew him it all you'd know he thought his children and grandchildren were the most beautiful in all the world (and to us granddaughters he called us "Beautiful" more than he called us by name...)

I'll miss you, Papaw. This world wasn't the same for having you, nor will it be the same for having you gone. Every memory I have I keep close and cherish, and I thank you for them. You've been a blessing in my life, and I've been lucky enough to call you my grandfather. You've left a legacy to a family that adores you and loves you and misses you already. But I take peace in knowing you're where you want to be. Saying goodbye isn't easy...but at least it's only temporary. We will see you again, and I'll look forward to it!

I love you, Barbara Leigh



11 comments:

  1. Oh Barbara! I'm so sorry! I was really close to my grandpa too! Enjoy all the good memories you made together!

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  2. Barbara your words about and to your grandfather are so touching and beautiful. How truly special to have those memories to relive for the rest of your life. He will always be with you because of them. I didn't live close enough to my grandfather to be able to have many memories of him; but the ones I do have are sweet. My heart hurts for you and your family...

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  3. Beautifully written Barbara :) Love, mom

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  4. So sorry Barbara. I lost my grandfather a few months ago and it was such a horrible time. But find peace in that he died with his family with him, not in pain, and in his sleep. What a wonderful way to go.
    My grandpa died on his 92nd birthday and it really comforted me to think that he got to spend his birthday with his wife (who passed 6 years ago).
    Feel better. *hugs*

    ps: can't believe his hair was still black! That's unreal!

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  5. Such a sweet post to your grandpa! It sounds like you two had a beautiful relationship. I'm sorry for your loss, friend ( :

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  6. I don't really have any words for you other than that I know what you're going through, and I wish the best for you and your family. I lived with my grandparents until I was 5, and it was the worst day of my life when my grandfather died.

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  7. What a lovely, heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing the story of your grandfather.

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  8. My condolences for your loss, Barbara. Your tribute is beautiful and touching. It's always hard to lose the ones we love, but obviously, he lives on in you. God bless from your new follower.

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  9. Oh Barbara,

    I'm so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful post for him - no doubt he's smiling down on you right now:)

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  10. You guys are wonderful! Thank you for all the kind words - it means so much!

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  11. What a sweet tribute to your wonderful grandfather. He was such a kind and loving man and I, too, can still hear his laughter. He was loved by all the Lewis family - especially this Lewis girl. I also look forward to seeing him again one day.

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