Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Saying Goodbye to Granddad
This last weekend was bittersweet. Of course it is always hard to lose someone you love, even when he was ready to go home and had been suffering for so long. It was hard to watch my grandmother and mother in particular. I can't imagine having to face a loss like that, and then have to turn around and make all the arrangements, sign all the legal documents, empty out his room at the nursing home, etc.
However, the funeral went very well. Granddad had set out years ago exactly what he wanted. He even had a list of hymns he wanted sung, and he wanted my dad to lead them. He wanted my uncle and his preacher to do the speaking. He wanted it held at the church building (that he had built), and he wanted Psalms 23 read, which was done by my cousin, the only grandson (yes there seems to be a dearth of males in our family).
My grandfather was one of 7 children - 3 boys and 4 girls. One of his brothers passed away a few years ago, but his other brother and all four sisters came up from the Texas coast to attend. I don't remember how many nieces and nephews he has, but they counted up and about 3/4 of them were there as well. Needless to say, the family section of the church was quite full. All the children, grandchildren, grandchildren in-law, and great-grandchildren were there, of course. (On a humorous note, my family took up one entire pew.) The rest of the church was full of friends and church members of the church he served as elder for 30 years.
After a brief graveside service, we were back at the church for a family meal - the fellowship hall was full. But the food was so good - small town West Texas church ladies can cook! It was startling to me how many of these family members had come across my blog somehow. I had great- aunts and uncles asking me if I was feeling better now. (Hi Uncle Glen and Aunt Peggy!) But it was so nice to visit with family that I haven't seen in a while. I even met my cousins' kids of whom I had only seen pictures.
So even though I had a headache from all the tears, it was a good weekend. It touched me to see all the love people had for my granddad, and what an impact God had used him to make in that town. But I think my grandmother expressed it best when she said that it was going to be very hard to get used to not having him around.
If you are interested in reading the obituary my father wrote for Granddad, click here.