Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Thoughts and Memories

The past five days have been very full ones for our little family.  They have been filled with activity and filled with every sort of emotion.  In the hustle and bustle of all our Easter preparations we learned that my Papa had finished his fight with cancer and was now in the presence of Jesus.  What we believe about Jesus' death and resurrection changes everything anytime of the year, but it felt especially hopeful having it as the backdrop of losing someone I love.  And the natural bitter-sweetness of Easter weekend--the horrible sin of murdering the sinless Son of God, the suffering, the very real pain and death, followed by victory and joy inexpressible, and a perfect, strong resurrection body of Jesus who will never die again--was felt in our own personal experience.  

The bitter is the loss felt by my family, felt by my grandmother especially who loses her husband of nearly 60 years.  The bitter is the pain of cancer felt by my grandfather.  The bitter is the burying him in the ground.

But hope offers the sweetness.  There is hope in Jesus that this really isn't the end of the story for my Papa but only a new beginning.  The hope is that my Papa isn't really lost but is with Jesus and will one day be reunited with his body, a body made strong and perfect.  

Yesterday as we drove to the cemetery KJ told the kids that a cemetery is like a garden, because we plant in hope.  In the language of Paul, "...It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power...".

Three cheers for my dad again for giving us the gift of scanning all of these pre-digital pictures.  It's the best gift to have these to enjoy.

Riding the lawnmower with Papa while he cut the grass was a much-coveted activity.  We only had a simple pushmower growing up, so this was the height of excitement.  I'm the in the background in the screen door looking on with envy, I'm sure.

Papa loved deep sea fishing and enjoying all the fresh seafood the Gulf Coast has to offer.  Our Christmas dinners always veered away from the traditional turkey and ham to shrimp, fish, and oysters (though I never tried an oyster).

I was really blessed to be able to go to college in the same city my grandparents lived in.  I'm going to have to spend my own time at the computer scanning photographs of times spent there.  Gramma and Papa were always so welcoming to all my friends.  Papa would cook my favorite shrimp and rice, and we would sit around their table and laugh...and laugh and laugh again because we were 20 years old, and everything was funny.

Papa loved to ride his bike, and we went on several rides together.  Look who even joined us on a ride during our first anniversary trip to the coast.

When we lived in Louisville, we were a good half-way point for Gramma and Papa on their way to Michigan every fall.  I'm glad they got to stop and spend time with baby Ella.

Last Easter weekend we were able to spend the day with Gramma and Papa at my parents' house.  Even that day, I recognized how beautiful and perfect it was.  It was a beautiful and ordinary day, and we were together.


  1. These are sweet pictures. How nice that you have a record of your time with him. So sorry for your loss.