RIP Papaw

October 3, 2016 at 3:10 pm (Uncategorized)

Last week, I lost my first grandparent. He was 88 years old and though he had been sick for a while he was still mentally with it up until nearly the night he passed away in his sleep. I know how lucky I am that all four of my grandparents lived until I was in my 30’s and I’m even luckier because they were all in generally good health (for nearing 100 years old, that is). I’m close with all of my grandparents but moreso with my mom’s mom and dad, as I grew up near them and spent many, many afternoons and evenings at their house. Up until the last few years, we had every holiday and family birthday party at their place and even after I moved away I would still visit as often as I could. Over the last few years, I actually developed a habit of calling them almost every night to check in and say hello and even if we only spoke for a few minutes, my nights weren’t complete without that phone call. I spoke to Papaw the day before he passed and he told me he loved me and I know how true that was.

He and my Memaw had told me years ago that they both wanted me to do the eulogy for their funeral and I kind of hoped they had forgotten about that but nope – I wrote and read my first eulogy last week, too. Talk about a week of firsts. I didn’t cry too hard and while I’d like to think it was because I’m strong and composed, the half Xanax my aunt slipped me that morning may have helped. Either way, we all sent my grandfather off in style and I think he would have been pleased with how many people came out to pay their respects and tell stories about such a silly old man. He even had a military burial as he was a veteran and I know he would have appreciated that.

He and my grandma were married over 66  years and had six children, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Family has always been very important to my grandparents and they raised a whole group of people who care for one another. Even if distance puts miles between us, I know we’re all there for each other when the going gets tough and that’s something my Papaw would have been proud of.

I’m going to miss hearing from Papaw every day but I’ve got memories, pictures, video and even voicemails to hold me over until we meet again. RIP, Papaw – you were one of a kind and the best grandpa a girl could ask for!

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