Thursday, August 26, 2010



I've spent the last week away from home. I was surrounded by family and friends, so even though I wasn't physically home, I was home.

I went to visit my Nanny and some cousins last Thursday, for the day. I took a bag in case we decided to stay the night. We did. Friday morning I realized Jared needed to get away so I talked him into coming Friday night so he could actually relax (you know how it is sometimes hard to relax at home because there always seems to be so much to do).

Saturday morning I got a call from my dad - my Pawpaw had taken a bad turn.

You know how sometimes, you can't explain it, but you know that you need to do something. That was us. For some reason, I knew I needed to stay at Nanny's for a couple of extra days. I couldn't explain why, but I worked it out. That was God. He kept me there so I was so close when Pawpaw got so sick.

So Saturday morning Jared and I went down to the nursing home to see Pawpaw. I'm so thankful I was there. I was able to hug him and kiss his sweet head that day. We visited for a while before I had to leave to get back to my babies.

When we left, Jared and I both knew that Pawpaw wouldn't be able to live long like this. I will spare you the details, but it wasn't good. He had cancer that had truly taken over his whole body. Jared had to get home Saturday evening but we decided the girls and I should stay. I just felt like I needed to spend every minute I could with Pawpaw and Mamaw. So after I got the girls in bed Saturday night, I went back to see Pawpaw.

I sat in his room. I watched my aunt hold Pawpaw's hand, like only a daughter and daddy can do. I saw him, eyes closed, reach out for whoever was there. The nearest person would hold his hand, giving him comfort in such a miserable time. I just sat there, feeling so blessed to be able to be a part of this.

Sunday morning I went back after church. I sat there and prayed that he would hold on so my dad could get there (he had been out of town with some buddies and would be there Sunday afternoon). Again, I got the girls in bed that night and headed back to the nursing home. I spent that evening sitting in Pawpaw's room with my dad, some aunts and uncles, and some cousins, sharing memories. Blessings.

I woke up Monday morning to the call I had been expecting from my dad.

Pawpaw went Home.

I spent the rest of this week celebrating a truly great life with my family and dear friends. Pawpaw lived on this earth almost 91 years. He spent the last nearly 71 years loving my Mamaw. He was an ever faithful servant of the Lord. He spent his life working hard to provide for his family and taught them how to love and forgive and to work hard. He was a father to twelve, grandfather to 24, and great-grandfather to 45. He was proud of his family. He is now Home.

My heart is broken for my Mamaw and for all of us as we go on without Pawpaw here. If you wish, I know Mamaw could use a prayer or two as she settles back into "real" life without the Love of her life. We miss him dearly. And although our hearts are sad, we are all rejoicing because we know Pawpaw is cancer free, pain free, with a restored body in Heaven right now. Home.
Jared, Peyton, Me, Dad, Mika, Mamaw, Pawpaw, Laila, Whitney, and Brent at the Family Reunion this summer.

While I was missing home this week, I knew I was home because home really is wherever your family is. And nearly all of our huge family came together to honor Pawpaw. I'm so thankful that I live so close to Mamaw (a little over an hour away) and I am able to see her often. She loves my babies and they adore her. One day they will realize how blessed they are to have her and Pawpaw as great-grandparents.

Now I am home. Back to "reality". My body is exhausted. I'm slowly working on getting the house back in order, laundry done, dishes cleaned, phone calls made, groceries bought, blogs caught up on, emails answered, and on, and on. And most of all, I'm looking forward to spending this weekend with Jared and the girls, at home.


Pediddlepie said...

Oh Jen, I am so very sorry for your loss. This was a beautiful post, and it was so special of you to share it. I got to tell Freddie about my great grandpa today, he died of prostate cancer in 2002. PawPaw Coy was the only person in my ENTIRE family that was ever always kind, always just and fair, and never allowed anyone to speak ill of others in his presence. We decided to give Freddie a new middle name when we adopted him. It's Thompson, that was my PawPaw's last name and I let Freddie wear one of PawPaw's old Wrangler pearl button shirts today as a painting smock and told Freddie all about him. It brings tears to my eyes and I know it will to yours when you share stories and memories with your girls about their PawPaw.

Kim said...

Oh, Jen, I'm so sorry for your loss. This makes me teary eyed just reading it. What a wonderful post. Married for 71 years! That is amazing! And what a wonderful picture of your whole family! I'm glad you were there for them this last week. Prayers for you and your family :)

Alex and Jill said...

Jen, I'm in tears reading this. Brings back memories of my Papa. I am so sorry for your family's loss. Praying you find comfort in the fact that he is healthy now - no more pain. Saying a special prayer for your Mamaw.

Love you!

Linda Lou Rogers Averitt said...

We can only hope we can follw in your papaw's footteps of the legacy of his blessed life:) well so much for weekend at home for you, Have fun at the lake with your friends:) Peyton is being so good, we re enjoying her so much:)