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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Waiting for Paradise

We went to Hospice House for dinner Friday to be together as a family.  Out of respect for Grandpa, I am not going to share images of him, just the family around him, holding his hands and just murmering their love and affirmation of a life well lived.

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It’s so hard to see someone you love slowly, painfully die.

Not really here, but not gone to Paradise either.

His head tilts back as he lays in bed, his eyes open and shut, but do not see.  His breathing raspy, gurgling actually.  He doesn’t talk much anymore, except….except on Wednesday, when I lifted the children up, one by one to kiss his forehead and say hi in his ear, his breathing changed, excited breaths followed by an exhaled HIIIIIII.  Oh so faint, so soft we almost missed it.  Again tonight, he said it to us except we were blessed to hear his whispered voice three times Hi, Hi, Hi….

{Instant tears}

 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

—2 Corinthians 4:16–18

A brave Papa fighting cancer, an oh so special Great Grandpa in Hospice, an adopted, and well loved “Gramma” Esther in another state, also in hospice waiting for Jesus to take her home, dying of the same cancer our Papa is fighting so hard against….so many loved ones on their way to Jesus.  And it’s my job to comfort my little ones, and answer their questions with accuracy and honesty.  In simple, but real terms to bring comfort in the truth of death.

But isn’t it funny, how sometimes THEY bring comfort to us, with their innocent understanding of life, death and a new life in Heaven.

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  Avery is so excited for Grandpa to have new “bendy legs”. His old childhood injury, a smashed ankle turned rod in the leg, has given him a lifetime of pain.  She knew new legs would be a special part of his Heavenly body.  Paxton was most excited that he’d “Wun wiff Jesus!” {run with Jesus} The older two, quietly taking it all in, their thoughts kept quiet as they prepare to say good-bye to a Grandpa who was a big part of their lives and weekly routine.

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   But we know, good bye is never really good bye, not when you have the hope of Jesus.  Good-bye is really just “So long for now”…..

And so we wait, life feeling like its holding it’s breath, anticipating yet dreading the day we get “the call” that he has gone.  Until then, we ask Jesus to ease his pain and take him home soon.

Because this Earth is NOT our home.

  *I wrote this post not knowing that the day I wrote it,  Friday, April 26th at 10:45pm, my sweet Grandpa would get to see his Jesus in Glory.  My mom and my Grandma each held a hand as he went.

  So long for now, Grandpa.

So long for now…….

No more sorrow, no more pain.

I sure do love you. 

~T

  I also want to add, that this morning {Saturday} soon after 7, our beloved Gramma Esther went to see Jesus too.  She had been talking of a “reunion” she was planning all week!  Praise God her time of suffering is over, and she is in Paradise with my Grandpa and many others who have gone before them. What a REUNION!

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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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A Birthday Bash: 82nd Style.

Happy Labor Day! I forgot we all had the day off and went ahead and planned a post for you.

  My Grandpa turned 82 last week, so we decided that was a great reason to get together and celebrate over the long weekend! 

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

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  We enjoyed BBQ ribs, pulled pork, Linguini Oh-Yeah, chips & dips, followed by Grandma’s FAMOUS  chocolate chip cookies and Nana’s nearly as famous, Homemade Peach ice cream made with Colorado Peaches, of course. YUMMO! 

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During dessert, Paxton decided to take matters into his own hands and use an Everyone-is-Distracted Moment to help himself to some homemade ice cream…

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  Well goodness sakes, how can I be upset looking at a SWEET face like this?

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Yes, I let him have some, we all did. Little beggar got his fill, no worries!

After supper the kids BEGGED to play The Game With No Name.  Ok, maybe it has a name, but at the moment I cannot recall it.  I’ll explain it to you instead:

All the grown ups and kids stand in a circle.

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  Whoever is “it” takes the ball round and round the circle, sneakily dropping it behind an unsuspecting grown up or kid, then runs….

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If you get the ball dropped behind you, you grab it and RUN in the opposite direction of the “it” person, trying to beat them back to their spot.

Hey!!!! It’s kind like Duck Duck Goose expect with a ball and no talking! (Did you see that light bulb moment happen?!  What can I say, I loose brain cells with every pregnancy!)

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To say my kids enjoyed The Game With No Name That Is Kinda Like Duck Duck Goose with No Ducking or Goosing, would be a bit of an understatement.  In fact, I am surprised Destiny has a voice left at all as much cheering and screaming she did!

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Great Grandpa and Grandma had just run a 5k that day, and their legs hurt, so they decided to sit out. 

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Ok, not really, but either way, they had fun watching!

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  Time for a few gifts!

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  We gave him a Daily Journal called “Grandpa, Tell Me Your Memories…”

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  I am so excited to have him fill it out, that man has STORIES like you would not believe!!!!!  And I sure can’t recall them all, you know, with brain cells missing, as previously discussed. This book will be priceless to my kids as they grow up!

  As everyone gathered around the Birthday Boy, I saw an opportunity and called for a Group shot! 

Easy right?!

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Wrong!

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Close enough! That’s a wrap, people.

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Happy 82nd Birthday, Grandpa! We LOVE you!

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xoxo

~T