A Day of Remembering…..

  My Grandpa’s funeral was last Saturday, May 4th, it already seems like a lifetime ago.  I decided this weekend, that I was ready to go through photos and share them. 

    I haven’t been to many funerals in my life.  I thought the viewing would be hushed and quiet, and that my kids may not be welcomed there for long.  It was amazing to me how LOUD and joyous it actually was!  Even the funeral director came up to me and said how they loved families like ours, that had hope and peace and even JOY in the midst of sorrow.  He said he could tell we all really loved and enjoyed each other.  From a man who deals in death? That is a real compliment!

  I only have pictures from the afternoon, when I went to set up the Memorial Table for Grandpa.  I wanted it to represent him down to the tiniest details, so we did everything from his Bible and magnifying glass, to the combs and hair clips he used to control his wavy hair….

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  Of course we included his rocks and beautiful creations from them, his cologne truck & hammer that have been on his dresser all my 32 years, and his Lemonhead candies.  The clock was set to the exact time he left this world for Paradise.

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  We had pictures of our Scooter Parade, which was displayed with his red suspenders, and we couldn’t forget his famous Golf Club-Turned-Walking Stick…..

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Dale brought the kids right after school pick up. I wanted them to have a few private moments to see their Great Grandpa for the last time.  They were a teeny bit anxious to come in, wondering what they would see.

They all lined up in front of the casket….

bye grandpa

  After a few moments of quiet, Paxton says:

Gwandpa in HEABEN wiff JESUS???????????  {Grandpa in Heaven with Jesus?}

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He RAAAAN up to me to tell me again, Louder this time, where his beloved Grandpa was:

Gwanpa Up der, in Heaben!  IMG_0555

  You can’t tell me children cannot understand death, because I watched it happen in the most peaceful, beautiful way last week.

  Bright and early the next morning, was the burial.  It was SO freezing cold, like 32*!  Not Spring-like weather at all, we bundled up as best we could.  I was honored to be a pallbearer, along with 7 of the 8 cousins.

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  See that photo of Paxton? Top right of the above collage.  That is “Grandpa” Glen, he is the husband of our beloved “Gramma” Esther, who went to be with Jesus just 8 hours after my Grandpa.  It was wonderful to have him here to pay tribute to Grandpa in spite of his own grief and loss.

   Inspite of the cold wind whipping around in the tent, it was a beautiful little mini service out there at the grave site.

  I loved when the Pastor laid his hand on the casket and said something about how,

“Our Heavenly Father knew when Maurice would come into this world and take his first breath, but he also knew the exact moment he would leave this world and take his last breath.”

  That is so comforting!  Our lives are carefully planned out, every moment from first breath to last. 10

You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.  Psalm 139:16

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The children were very curious about how the box with Grandpa’s body in it would go down into the ground, so sweet Grandma agreed to do it right then.  The emotions of that moment played out beautifully on her face….

Goodbye for now, my love, goodbye for now…..

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   Then it was time to head across town to have the Memorial Service.
So many Godly men stood and spoke of the life of my Grandpa and the impact he left on them!

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   The Grandkids had a chance to share…..there was much laughter, and many tears shed from that pulpit.

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I said:

  When I think of Grandpa, my mind goes back to my memories of him when I was a child.  His rough hands gave the best back rubs, I remember the jingling sound of the ever-present keys on his belt, as he took his jaunty steps, hurriedly out of the room.  The way he hopped onto his black bike that he rode all over Glencroft.  The whistle that always slipped with ease from his mouth as he worked.

  But over the years, my fondest memories have changed, grown in ways I never imagined, as I watched my Grandpa become a Great Grandpa to my 4 children.

  I will never forget the way his eyes would light up when they’d come piling into the room, each one taking their turn to give him a hug.  I loved how he asked about school and their day.  How he begged them to come visit again soon.  How he’d get out his rocks and tell what each one was.  How he’d tell them story after story about when he was a little boy, never irritated when they begged for MORE.  And the songs, oh how we loved the songs he sang. “Up Up In The Sky,” “My Mommy Said” and “Mousy” are now passed down to the next generation of children.

  But my favorite memory of all was our Scooter Parade, we did it several different occasions.  He would bundle up so he could ride around and around the block with my kids. He and Pax on his electric scooter, the others on their bikes and trikes.  I don’t know whose grin was bigger, theirs…….or HIS. 

  Memories of my grandpa will live on, echoing through the walls of my home when laughter rings out, in the rock collections in the children’s treasure boxes, in the bedtime songs we sing, and always, always in our hearts as his life and legacy will live on in the memories of my children.

   I want to take a minute, and give them a chance to tell you about their Great Grandpa…..

My brave kiddos came up on stage, proud to tell everyone about this special man in their lives:17

Destiny: He always told the best stories!

Tylan: I like that he is fun and he shares his rocks with us.

Avery: I like his smile!

Pax: Grandpa is in Heaven running with Jesus!

I finished with this:
We know that good-bye is never really good-bye, not when you have the hope of Jesus.  Goodbye is really just “So long for now.”
                         So we say So long for now, Grandpa, so long for now……

   Isn’t that the beauty of our faith and Salvation in Christ?  The knowledge that we WILL see our loved ones again, in a beautiful, perfect and joyous place!

  I know this is long, please remember this blog is the story of my children’s lives, one I want them to be able to reference and read and remember one day.  Before I go, I have one more thing I want to share on here.  I worked many, many nights on this video slide show. I stopped counting hours at 16, but the important thing is, it came from my heart.  It was how I dealt with my grief and the many, many tears I shed while making it and editing it.  This was my way of showing my love and respect to my Grandpa, and I’d be honored to have you watch.

Blessings to you today,

~T

 

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18 thoughts on “A Day of Remembering…..

  1. Wow, what a wonderful job you did in writing this all out. It will be nice for you all to be able to read this later on.
    I didn’t even know your Grandpa and I have tears reading this!:) They are the happy tears tho, that I may meet him someday! That he is walking and talking with Christ and enjoying and pain free and wonderful time up there. It makes me look so forward to when the Lord comes for us!:) So exciting huh?

    You also did a great job with the slide show. Again, I don’t know the people but the tears are here!:)
    Thinking of you all. Sending love and hugs,
    Kristina<3

  2. Your video was so precious. I found myself crying as I watched. Although, I have never met your family, I could feel the love just by viewing the pictures. Your grandfather left behind a great heritage and it’s obvious from your blog how much you understand and appreciate exactly what that means. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing with us. I was deeply touched. Blessings!

  3. Love your blog Tonya. You are so gifted with words. The “so long for now” is so precious and gives us so much hope. Blessings!

  4. Oh what a beautiful memorial and you did such a fabulous job of sharing it all. I cried too…the video is sooo wonderful. To have those cherished memories in photos is such a special blessing. How I adore the ones of your grandparents together – the love for each other shines in their eyes. I am blessed to say I have met your sweet grandpa, and my heart is deeply stirred to learn more about the wonderful godly man he was. Your table set up to honor him was outstanding. Our children learn from us and I have no doubt, yours are more prepared to deal with death than many adults are. Thanks so much for sharing. How special that you have a close-knit family and share memories with extended family members as well. May God continue to pour out His amazing grace and comfort on all of you. XO

  5. Very well done. Your Mom brought Your grandparent to my parents farm sale. In the eve we gathered in the living room sharing. It is the strongest memory. Keep the memory of your life and sharing with all is very special. May God’s richest Blessing be Your’s. Joy

  6. Beautifully written Tonya! I was a Paul Bearer for both of my grandparents…I can’t describe the honor I felt in my heart in being able to carry their bodies to their resting place. One last act of love and care for those that I deeply loved. I hope you will always be able to keep in your heart those tender moments found during this time.

  7. Wow! This is such a beautiful post. You have such an amazing way of using pictures to tell a story. Your grandpa looked like one amazing man! And the video was so great. Again what a gift you have – I am glad you are using it to bless others!

  8. What a beautiful memorial for your grandfather. I was so blessed to watch the slideshow. Its so hard to capture what one person has deposited over the years in a family. But those pictures spoke volumes of a lifetime of love. Amazing. And he lives on here through that legacy of love. God bless you and your family Tanya.

  9. Beautifully written and photographed Tonya!
    This post is really a tug at the heart strings but your family is so lucky to have had the time they had with this loving man of God !

  10. I have been reading your blog for awhile. You are a beautiful woman of God both on the inside and out! Your love of the Lord shines through all of your writing. This post was so touching I was in tears. I love your blog and I pray the Lord blesses you and your family! Thanks for all of your wonderful post.

  11. You might not appreciate this comment but it could help in the future. Pall bearer instead of Paul bearer. Very nice blog and pictures. First time seeing it.

  12. Wonderful slideshow–it made me cry, especially the end! It was so beautiful. Your grandpa was a special man and your children were so lucky to have had them as long as they did. God bless you guys!

  13. Pingback: Hospice House Memories & Gooey Chocolate Oatmeal Bars | 4 little Fergusons

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