Last I wrote on here, I was looking forward to things slowing down a bit and getting ready for school to start, well, school did start but it did not start off well for us in our personal lives.
My grandpa passed away on July 16th and his funeral was the 24th (the second day of school). I talked some on my Instagram about this whole experience but I haven't written it down anywhere yet. So please bare with me as I get a bit raw and real here.
My Papa was my first best friend. As the only granddaughter I had many privileges hahaha I was allowed to not only touch his beloved baseball cards, I was even able to suck on them as a baby.
We ate ice cream for breakfast, I would go with him to his Institute classes and help him teach the students or just participate in them. (they lived across a driveway from the institute building in Santa Monica) He was the one I always asked gospel questions, he knew so many things about the scriptures and church history that I never got bored lsitening to him talk or teach about it. He was also a general history junkie and he and I would have lots of talks about all kinds of places and times - WW2 was both a time of passionate research for us. We even got to stand by the treaty that eneded the war on the USS Missouri!
He had the best laugh. Loud and booming, he could always find a joke. I remember countless hours of playing Cray 8's or Go Fish and just laughing our heads off. When we would visit them on summer vacations he and my grandma would sit us down to make a plan for the entirety of our stay so we could make sure to get all the things done we wanted to while we were there. The Santa Monica Pier, Tito's Tacos (a couple times lezzbe honest), Olvera Street, movies, Institute, and Venice Beach were always on the list.
He was always fair. He loved everyone and everyone knew it. It was a genuine love and concern for everyone he met. His generosity of both spiritual and temporal means is something to aspire to. He was the most Christlike person I know.
He went into the hospital for the final time on the 4th of July. He'd only been back home after being in a physical rehab center for a month when he slipped out of his bed. It just started a chain reaction of things and when I got the call to come quickly so I could say goodbye I sadly wasn't surprised. It's like I knew this was coming but it didn't hurt any less. I immediately started sobbing in Target while I ushered my kids back into the car. I drove them to a friend's house because I did NOT want them to see Papa like he was at the end.
I walked into the room and my heart stopped. I felt such conflicting emotions of peace, love, sorrow and guilt. Guilt that I hadn't spent even more time with him and that I hadn't brought my children to say goodbye (even though I KNOW he wouldn't have wanted that either). Sorrow because I knew this was the end of his life here on earth and I miss him every day. Love for this giant of a man that helped shape me and who loved my family so entirely - he even loved Andrew before I did hahaha. Peace from knowing he'd want to be home with his Savior instead of here on a machine. The Spirit was so strong and I was able to hold his hand, speak to him and kiss him goodbye. I kissed him for the girls and told him to watch over us especially as the girls get older - they'll need their Papa to keep them safe.
As we then celebrated his life the following week, it was wonderful to see all of the family and friends that were able to come. Some of these cousins I had never met or it had been years since seeing each other. We all joked that Papa would have hated it hahaha he's be tucked into a quiet corner somewhere avoiding everyone and all the noise - which is completely true. The sadness comes and goes. I know hes happier and with his mom, dad, best friend Jack and all the others that have gone before him but gosh darn it I miss him so much. I know he's watching over me, I've felt his presence throughout the weeks since he's been gone.
When he passed I knew I wanted something to help us remember and grieve - so I asked my sweet friend Nichelle to make us a necklace with his favorite hymn (If You Could Hie to Kolob") and then on the back we had his handwriting ;) It was the most perfect thing we needed!
I'm going to get a bit spiritual here, you've been warned. I am so grateful to KNOW I will see my Papa again! While it doesn't diminish my temporal sadness here and now, I know it helps me to know he'll be waiting for me with open arms when it's my turn to go home. I'm grateful for a Savior that knows my pain and anguish. He knows my conflicted soul and helps to soothe it. I'm grateful for a family that comes together and strengthens each other - I could not have made it through without my husband and kids. Papa is the first of my grandparents to pass, so in that I know I've been extremely lucky to have had him for 30 years teaching and loving me.
I love you Papa, Save a seat for me <3
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