Preparing to Say Goodbye

  How do you say Goodbye?  How do you eloquently put into words just how much you love someone, or how much they mean to you?

How do you know what you will wish for later, after they are gone?

“If only I had asked this one last question….” 

“If only I had hugged him a little longer last time we were there….”

“If only I could remember the way he told that story….

  A few weekends ago, my extended family did just that: gathered together to prepare to say good-bye to my Grandpa, who is 82.  He has congestive heart failure and his organs are beginning to shut down, signaling the beginning of the end of his time here on Earth with us.  A difficult reality to face.  But we didn’t let it stop us from having fun;  we sat around and listened to stories, ate yummy soup, celebrated a birthday and just enjoyed each others company!

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  I don’t know how a non-believer would ever make it through such a time as this.  I mean, I can be sad my grandpa is preparing to leave us one day, but I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt, that he is going to a better place; a place with no pain, no suffering.  A place where I will one day go as well.  So, goodbye won’t really be goodbye, just “So long for now!”  Praise Jesus!

   In honor of a life well lived and being the best grandpa a kid could ever ask for, I have put together some photographs of him….from my childhood through the childhoods of my children.  Such a special treat to have Great Grandpa within minutes of our home, one who is so involved and playful with my 4 little Ferguson’s. 

  A man of God who loves Jesus first and foremost, who speaks of or sings to Him at the drop of a hat.  A man who can bird call, rock polish, and shoulder rub with the best of them….he is a man I am proud to call my Grandpa!

   I may get some frowns for doing this now, while he is still here with us and fairing well, but honestly – Why wait until he is too sick to read this, or already gone to be with his Savior to post this?  I’d MUCH rather do this now, so he can read it and know just how much he means to me, to our family. 

  We love you Grandpa, and today we honor you!!!

the grands

Love and hugs

~T

  My Grandma was my very first babysitter when my mom returned to work at the cafe’.  I was the first grand baby, and Mom says Grandpa would stop to see me almost every single day on his way home from work. 

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He says I smiled at him first.  🙂

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Along came the Great Grands:

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gpa and baby pax

Afternoon Scooter Parade

(Click the bold print to be taken to the actual post if you’d like….)

scooter paradepax and gpa

Birthday Bash: 82nd Style

“Did you say 82!?!?!?! When did THAT happen?”

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grandpa and grandmaobservingsweetpax

Recent pictures:

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A Goodbye is painful, but we can have hope!  Especially when we know, it’s only a matter of time until we will say “Hello!” again.  What a joyful reunion that will one day be, in Heaven…..together as a family again.

Beginnings are usually scary,

Endings are usually sad,

It’s everything in between,

That makes LIFE worth living.

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15 thoughts on “Preparing to Say Goodbye

  1. Wow!!! What an amazing tribute to a wonderful man!!! Tonya, you are very blessed to have such loving and wonderful grandparents!!! Loved this post!!!! Love you “Grandpa”!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Oh my goodness, you just had to go and do this and leave me bawling didn’t you… Good thing it’s only me and the piles of laundry 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing your precious pictures with Uncle Maurice! What a precious legacy we have of God’s faithful and faithfulness!

  3. How bittersweet for you Tonya! I hope that your Grandpa gets to see the new twin great grands before passing to his better life. My mom is 93, in relatively good health for that age except for eye problems, but I can see her aging so quickly these days. When I am so tempted to get irritated by something quirky that she says or does, my sweet youngest son will look at me with “that look” and say “Now Mom, she is 93-BE NICE! Remember one day you will be 93!” He is definitely my reality check, and has a soft spot for his grandma. There is a picture of the two of us on facebook from Mother’s Day in our hats-Mother doesn’t go much of anywhere without a hat on, and her Sunday ones are the best. Hopefully that collection will come to me one day! I need to learn to treasure the days left with her more like you are doing with your Grandpa. It is very hard though when I am the only one close by her. So thanks for the post-I needed it today!

  4. This tribute to your beloved Grandpa could NOT be any sweeter Tonya! Just beautiful….oh how blessed you are to have had your gr’pa for so long. I lost both of mine when I was a young child. Such a beautiful display of love to a godly man. And how glorious to know you’ll see him again…and he’ll be made whole when he’s gone to Jesus. Thanks for sharing. Your pictures always tell a beautiful story. XO

  5. What a lovely tribute! And I think it’s wonderful that you wrote and posted this while he’s still able to read it and bask in the glow of it.
    What fabulous pictures . . . I love so many of them, but in particular the ones in the first half of the post shot from above of the whole family with Pax in the middle looking up. And then pictures of the hands, old and young intertwined. Beautiful job.

  6. Well, once again you have left this sappy woman in tears! But I love that you are so thoughtful to make this tribute TODAY, NOW. Living today, not worrying about what tomorrow brings.

  7. Wonderful post Tonya! Thank you for sharing such great memories of your Grandpa with us. I have lovely memories of my Grandfather and will never forget them.

  8. This is such a beautiful, heartfelt post–I’m sitting here eating breakfast, trying not to puke, and now I’m crying too! What an amazing blessing to have such a wonderful grandpa. And how special that your kids get to know their great-grandparents, too! That’s something I didn’t have, nor will my kids. Your tribute is lovely.

  9. What a beautiful trip down memory lane.
    You have such a beautiful loving family and so lucky to have enjoyed your Grandparents for so long and what lucky kids you have to have their Great-grands!
    I’m sure your grampa has enjoyed reading this lovely post in his Honor.
    The photos of you as a baby/child look so much like your own kids:)
    Thanks so much for sharing such a lovely post!

  10. Tonya we lost my husbands grandpa to congestive heart failure….. he too was an awesome grandpa to not only my husband but my children also. We had some fun family photos taken before he got to looking sick. We cherish those photos! Our children were young & it’s SO nice to have those pictures to refer back to! Prayers!

  11. Pingback: Old Timey Photos «

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