On Saturday, October 23rd my dad and Karen drove in from Nashville to stay the weekend at Erin's - a trip we had previously scheduled. David, Xander and I stayed at Erin's, too, and we were all able to enjoy the weekend together, despite my recent surgery.
David, Xander and I drove home on Sunday night. David and I were in bed that night when my mom called around 11:30pm. I knew it was strange for her to call so late, so I answered the phone right away. She told me that my grandfather had passed away that evening. He was 93 years old and had been in the hospital that weekend for pneumonia and a kidney infection. I immediately started looking up flights and trying to figure out what I should do. David doesn't have any sick or vacation time since he's working a contract position, so there was no way he could come with me. I finally decided to take Xander and fly to TX on Wednesday morning, the 27th. Erin flew with me or I wouldn't have been able to go. I was only a week post-op and my child weighs over 30 lbs, so I definitely couldn't have done it alone.
The visitation was on Wednesday night and the service was Thursday afternoon. It was beautiful. Xander and I couldn't stay too late on Wednesday - it had been a long day and he was very tired. Thursday we met a good portion of my family - around 50 people or so - for lunch at the church. About 15 minutes before the service I took Xander and rocked him in the nursery. He fell right asleep and I was able to slip into the sanctuary for the entire service. I was so thankful for that. It was a nice service that paid good tribute to my grandfather and allowed me to say goodbye. Xander woke up just as we were exiting the church and we drove on to the cemetery. The graveside service was very short and Xander did beautifully. He even leaned in and kissed me unprompted 3 or 4 times and gave me some hugs, too. I guess he knew I needed some extra love. It was a gorgeous fall afternoon and I appreciated that Isabel showed up at the cemetery for the graveside service.
I loved my Papa very much. He was very elderly and frail and had lived a long, full life. I'm thankful that he's no longer suffering here on earth. I am so glad that he is now with our Lord and Savior. One of the things I never want to forget about my Papa is that when I told him I loved him he never told me he loved me back - he just said, "I do you, too." I'm so thankful that we got to visit with him in August of 2009 when we took Xander for his first trip to TX. I got some great pictures and even a couple of videos while we were there. I'm especially glad that "Big" Papa got to meet Xander - he loved little children and I hope that Xander brightened his day.
I do you, too, Papa.