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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I had always known losing him would be hard, but never imagined this.  Last Saturday I got a call that my paw paw had passed away.  It was so unexpected.  He had been sick with a really bad cough, went to the hospital to find out he had congestive heart failure.  The meds were working, things were looking good & they were planning for him to return home--guess God had other plans because He called him home early Saturday morning.  Thankfully my mom & Maw Maw were there to tell him goodbye.

My heart still aches & I'm not sure it will ever fully recover.  You see, Paw wasn't a grandparent that only showed up during the holidays, nope, he was always there.  Him & Maw Maw were at every event, every activity.  My brother & I spent more weekends there than we probably did our own house. We spent every Sunday after church at their house & after lunch we'd go to the Stop & Shop to get ice cream.  In college, I got a letter almost every week from them with a little money in it.  He would build anything for me---all of my furniture for college, some pieces in my home now.

He was always so proud of us.  When I got accepted to A&M, he immediately became the biggest Aggie fan & sported an Aggie Grandparent sign on his pick-up.  He was so proud when I graduated & became a teacher.  Even though I moved 4 hours away to Houston, they'd manage to call almost every week & listen to all my stories.  And when I met Matt, he was the first to tell me that he loved him & he knew that I did too.  He was so honored when I asked him if they minded if we were married on their 50th wedding anniversary, but I was the one who was honored. I'd always admired their relationship & always prayed I'd find a love like theirs (and I did).  And he was there the day I brought Emma home from the hospital.

He taught me so much in his life---more than I ever realized growing up.  First was a love for country music...the real stuff-George Jones & Merle Haggard.  He taught me about service & discipleship.  He taught me how to not be so serious & to live in the moment. He taught me what real friendships were & to hold on tight to them.....selflessness, patience, kindness, simplicity.....  Oh & there is so much more.  I could seriously write for hours about how special he was.

Today would have been his 75th birthday.  I miss him.  Lots of tears have been shed. I grieve for my mom, my maw maw, but mostly for my children.  I'm so glad he was able to meet them & hold them & love on them, but I wish they could experience & know the Paw I knew.  I know today will be one of the best birthdays he has ever had, so I won't cry because I know he is celebrating with his Maker. And I love the promise that I know one day when I'm called home he will be there waiting for me & welcoming me into those pearly gates.   I seriously can't wait yall!

I swear I can still hear him singing At the Roll Call, Heaven's Jubilee, Amazing Grace & all those country classics.  I don't want to lose that, so I keep singing them, it helps keep his memory alive.

 Happy birthday, Paw.  I wish I could hug your neck & eat Blue Bell Cookies & Cream with you tonight.  Thank you for your endless lessons & never ending love.  Your legacy is so sweet!  I love you!

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