12.16.2009

Update

I’m so overwhelmed. Thank you SO very much for all your comments, phone calls, text messages, and most of all your prayers. Eventually, I want to visit each of your blogs and personally thank you.

I’m sure you’ve heard the term “The Greatest Generation,” coined by Tom Brokaw. It describes the generation of men and women who lived during the Great Depression and served our country in World War II. Pawpaw was a part of the Greatest Generation. Without a question or doubt Pawpaw served our country in WW II. I’ve heard an estimated 1000-1200 World War II veterans die each day.

Today at 1:30 PM we lost another U.S. hero, a World War II veteran, a member of the Greatest Generation, and the best Grandpa I could have asked for. Pawpaw went to see Jesus peacefully, without pain. My brother held his head and my dad prayed for him as he left this life. I know if I had asked Pawpaw who do want holding you as you leave he would have said, “Jarrett.” They have each told me on different occasions that they were best friends. Pawpaw wouldn’t have had it any other way.



It hasn’t even been 24 hours and desperately I miss him. Pawpaw was a good person, the kind of person you want to be your friend. Earlier this year I was feeling down about layoffs. I went to my Grandparents house and watched the LSU game with Pawpaw. Later that night he asked me to take him to Taco Cabana for a Cabana Bowl. Pawapaw was a simple man and being around him was comforting.

Pawpaw could fix anything. Once I took a hair dryer to Italy and plugged it into an (overpriced) adapter in a Rome hotel room. Not only did the hair dryer blow, the power went out in the entire hotel. Opps. I really liked the hair dryer and I brought it to Pawpaw to see if it could be salvaged, knowing I would probably have to spend $19.99 on a new one. He fixed it!

Pawpaw had no enemies and he would do anything for anyone. Once a lady from the church called and asked to speak with my Grandma. She wasn’t available and Pawpaw said, “Can I take a message?” She said, “Yes, our Jack Hamm (a church member) is not doing well. We are asking everyone to pray for him today at noon.” Pawpaw didn’t hear very well and misunderstood her. He responded with, “WHAT? Your jack hammer is broken and you want me to pray for it at noon? I’ll just fix it for you.” He was always generous with his time and his skills and he always made us laugh.


Pawpaw was fun and spontaneous. My brother told me one of his favorite memories was visiting my Grandparent’s home in Louisiana. My parents had purchased a slip-n-slide and we were in the backyard having fun. Pawpaw came home, dressed in nice pants, a nice shirt and a hat. Jarrett remembers Pawpaw throwing off his hat, running, and sliding on the slip-n-slide in his nice clothes.

I’ve been reading the book, '90 Minutes in Heaven.' It is true story about a man who was in a car accident, pronounced dead, went to Heaven, and came back to earth. In the book he said when he arrived at the gates of Heaven he was greeted by the people he loved that had passed away before him. They acted as if they had been expecting him and they were over joyous that he had arrived.

Today as I mourned Pawpaw’s death, I remembered that part of the book. I thought about all the people that were greeting Pawpaw...his mother, his father, his older brother and a sister. I know there are many other family members and friends greeting Pawpaw and excited that he is home.

Pawpaw was nostalgic. In the last year, he had asked my mom to cook and bake some of the old recipes his mother made when he was a child. I think tonight he is having the meal of a lifetime… all his favorites! Tonight Pawpaw’s arms aren’t black and blue from the blood thinners, he can walk without swaying or falling, he can stand straight, he doesn’t need a pacemaker, he can use his hands the way he used to and his smile is bigger than ever.

Our family is sad and we will be for a long time. However, I find comfort in knowing that Pawpaw will greet me at Heaven's gate someday; he’s expecting me.

71 comments:

Carrie said...

This is beautiful Jill... a loving tribute to a wonderful Grandpa. I'm so sorry for your loss; I pray that you'll continue to find joy in your memories and comfort in the promise of seeing him again in a place where he can walk and not grow weary; run and not grow faint. I love you.

Amy C said...

That was a beautiful, touching, emotional post. I am so sorry for y'all. I know how close you are to your grandparents. That Jack Hammer story is classic...it ranks up there with your grandmother stories :-) And the slip and slide story!!! I want to be that free! In honor of your peepaw I will cheer for LSU next season...but just once :-) I love you...call me any time when you want to talk.

Amy C said...

P.S. You look like you maw maw and your bro looks like your pee paw!
:-)

Jill said...

Jill, I am SO SORRY for the loss of your beloved Pawpaw. I have tears flowing as I type this. Thank you for sharing some funny and heart warming stories of your special grandfather. I am sure he is feasting in Heaven with all of his favorite people, including The Saviour himself.
I'll be thinking of you. I know we are far apart, but please let me know if I can do anything.
Hugs, Jill

Danielle said...

Such a beautiful post, Jill. I am really honored that I was able to meet him when I was in San Antonio. Sounds like he was a really amazing man.

The jackhammer story is really funny. It is so important to hold on to those memories.

I am so so sorry for your loss. I know you will miss him until you see him again.

Please call me any time you need to talk. I am here for you.

Love,

Danielle

KK said...

I'm so sorry. God bless this wonderful hero!

Cameron's Mommy said...

Oh my goodness...this was a beautiful post. I laughed out loud, cried and felt the love your family feels for Papaw. I am so very sorry for your loss. I will continue to pray for you all.
Jill - I think I am currently signed in as Cameron's Mommy...but it is me from - http://www.zingotots.blogspot.com

Christy said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Your tribute to your grandfather was especially touching. I will keep your family in my prayers.

Seraphim said...

A beautiful tribute to your beloved grandpa and I LOVED the photos. Thank you for sharing his story and anecdotes about his life. With love from the shores of Western Australia.
Sarah x

Jennifer said...

Jill, this is really beautiful and right-on. Thank you for writing it. Can u email me those pictures? We need to gather some to print I think for the funeral. See you this afternoon?

Maria said...

Jill, I am SO sorry to hear about Pawpaw's passing. How is Mawmaw doing? I'm so glad that you began reading "90 Minutes in Heaven". He is definitely home and surrounded by so much love. Call me once you're up to it. I thought about you and your entire family all day yesterday. Hugs from Houston!!
Love you!! -M

Jill said...

Oh Jill, I'm so sorry. Losing a grandparent is so hard. I will be praying for you and your family.

Lauren Kelly said...

Just beautiful. So sorry for your loss!!!

Rachel McPhillips said...

That was the most beautiful tribute to a loved one. I will continue to pray for your family.

Rachel H. said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, but this is such a wonderful post sharing all about your grandfather! I am in amazement by all your comments and thoughts. And as always, I'm continuing to keep you and your family in my prayers!

Angie said...

Jill, this is such a sweet post, your Grandpa sounds like a wonderful, fun and caring man! My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

BroncoMom said...

Dearest Jill,
Your words of love written about your grandfather are a beautiful testimony to his life.
I am so sorry for your loss.
You and your family remain in my prayers.
BroncoMom

AndreaLeigh said...

what an amazing post. I'm so sorry about your grandfather, but I am happy he is not in pain and is celebrating in heaven with his loved ones. One day you will see him again, and I know he will greet you with open arms. i continue to pray for your family, jill. i'm so sorry.

amazeingteacher said...

Jill, I'm so sorry. I will keep you all in my prayers and you prepare for his funeral/memorial this week. I'll also pray for your grandmother and your family's new task of caring for her. Your grandpa sounds like a wonderful person and reminds me of my grandpa who also was in WWII...I wonder if they ever crossed paths? They may be meeting up soon in Heaven because they would really have liked each other! Take care and stay strong!

That Pink Girl said...

What a touching tribute to you Pawpaw; I'm crying at my desk as I read your heartfelt words! Your loss is great but you are right to look at the miracles too. Your Pawpaw is whole again and he has seen the face of Jesus! What a wonderful reward for a life well lived! Keeping you in our prayers as you grieve, Amy.

Heather said...

I am impressed that in the midst of your sorrow you managed to write such a beautiful and loving tribute. I am really sorry for your loss and will continue lifting your family up in prayer.

TanyaLea said...

Oh Jill, I am so terribly sorry to hear about your PawPaw's passing. But I'm glad that he had his family there to see him off as he met Jesus! Such a hard time of year to lose a loved one, I know. You did such a beautiful job sharing of his life and some fun (and funny!) memories. The Jack Hammer story was a hoot!! I'm very sorry for your loss and the heart-ache you are feeling right now. Hang in there sweet friend and KNOW that you and your family will be in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. May God wrap you in His love and may His grace help to comfort you in this time of loss.

Love and Hugs,
~ Tanya

Fridge Family said...

What a beautiful tribute! I would love to have known him this side of heaven, but will look forward to meeting him there. Love you, friend.

Ashley said...

Very touching post, and it sounds like your Pawpaw was a wonderful, wonderful man. I'm so sorry for your loss, and your family remains in my prayers.

Sarah said...

What a beautiful tribute to your pawpaw. I am so sorry for your loss and will keep your family in my prayers.

Sweet Simplicity said...

It sounds like your PawPaw was an amazing person. My prayers go out to you and your family.

Shari said...

Jill,

I'm so sad for you and your family. I enjoyed reading the tribute because it reminded me of all the funny things he said and did as we were growing up. He was a wonderful man and so funny. I loved his Louisiana accent and the way he was with your grandmother.
I will keep your family in my prayers.

Love, Shari E.

BakerGirl said...

Such a beautiful tribute to your grandfather...
You and your family are in my thoughts...

Lexilooo said...

Jill, this is so, so lovely. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Yesterday was also the seven year anniversary of my grandfather's death, which was something that came so out of the blue. He hadn't been sick; he came down with a slight case of pneumonia and was in the hospital for testing, was to be released the next morning, and then passed away that night.

I hated when people told me "I know exactly how you feel," because really, I didn't think anyone knew, so I will just say that I am thinking of you and sending love your way.

SassyEngineer said...

I'm sorry for your loss, Jill, and I will continue to keep you and your family in prayers. Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful man! He is probably just sad that he can't have all of you up there with him right now. One day though, he will be waiting to greet you. Until then, keep cherishing all of your happy memories. God Bless.

Rebecca (Sam's wife) said...

great tribute! the greatest generations are some of my favorite people in this world right now.

Johanne said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your Pawpaw. He sounds like a wonderful man. I know its a hard time for you and your fmaily but please know that the memoreies you have will help comfort you. Thinking of you and praying for your fmaily at this great time of loss. God Bless.

Bren said...

what a beautiful post...almost made me cry at work. thoughts are with you and hope you are ok!

Pieper Rodriguez said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You and your family will continue to be in my thoughts.

peace.love.applesauce said...

I am so, so sorry for your loss!
He sounds like he was such an amazing person!

kelly said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Your Pawpaw sounds like he was a wonderful man.

Renee said...

Jill, thank you for sharing such wonderful memories about your grandfather. What a wonderful tribute. I can tell he has left a legacy to remember. I am very sorry for your loss and will be thinking of you.

THE Stephanie said...

Awe. It's sad for us here on earth, but such a blessing to know that he has had the Ultimate Healing in meeting his Heavenly Father.

Thanks for sharing, Jill. This was so sweet.

The Daily Bee said...

Beautiful tribute to your Grandpa. Sending prayers your way.

...::Mrs. Southern Bride::... said...

What a beautiful tribute to your grandpa...so precious! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Blessings!

Jewels of My Heart said...

I am so sorry for your family's loss... very thankful that your Grandfather is now in the arms of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. "I Can Only Imagine."
What a beautiful tribute to him... it sounds like he has left a beautiful legacy indeed.
Will pray for God's comfort and peace for your family....

Laurie said...

Such a beautiful post. I am so sorry for your lost. I know the pain you are going through and I will be praying for you and your family during this time.

Faith said...

Oh Jill, I'm so sorry I didn't comment sooner, but I just saw this on Danielle's site. I can't even begin to tell you how sorry I am for the loss of your grandpa. But I'm truly overjoyed to hear that he's with our Heavenly Father. I know right now it still hurts so much, but one day, you'll be together again, and there will be no more pain or sorrow. We're crying with you and praying for you here in Indy.

jennykate77 said...

These are beautiful words and a real tribute to your Grandpa. I know you will miss him dearly. At least you know that he is in Heaven and you will see him again someday. Families are forever...and he will forever be in your heart. The stories and memories will keep him alive in spirit. Hugs and prayers during this difficult time for you and your family.

Polka Dots & Protein Bars said...

Thinking about you, Jill. We lost my grandfather, also a vet, in October, and I still miss him everyday. Praying for your family.

Anonymous said...

Tears are streaming down my face right now and I don't know you or your amazing PawPaw. You have just honored him is such a special way, I know his smile is beaming down on all of you now. I will continue to pray for you and your family. My heart is truly heavy for you all. Many blessings.

midnight macaroons said...

Pawpaw looks so handsome in his uniform. What great memories you have of him. I'm sorry for your loss and we will keep you and your family in our prayers.

XOXO,
Gigi

Lil' Woman said...

Oh Jill..I'm so sorry.
That was a touching and beautiful tribute though, you and your family will continue to be in my prayers.

Alicia said...

I am so sorry for your loss. While words can't help at this time, you're Grandpa passed knowing he was well loved; that is evident by how you speak of him. I will continue to pray for you and your family during this time.

Abbi said...

oh jill, i'm so sorry!
i've been out of town and i was catching up on my blog reading and just found out!! you and your family are in my prayers!!
what a great post and tribute this was to your grandpa...he would be SO proud of you!
what a striking young man he was!

i have read 90 minutes in heaven! what an AWESOME book it was!! just cling to the thought of he is with his other loved ones and they greeted him at the gates of glory! what a powerful true story that book was and i feel like it gave me a little comfort after i have lost family memebers and friends!

praying!!
hugs and love!!

Wearing Mascara said...

I am so drawn to this post because of how you described him and the "greatest generation". Rarely do I hear people use that phrase other than my mom (on a regular basis). It's SO important to be aware of that generation. I, too, have grandparents from my generation and my grandpa can. fix. anything. too. They would have been best pals I'm sure. Really though, there's a lot of him in you - I can tell. Especially from your do-it-yourself posts, your spirit, and personality. You are a wonderful grand-daughter and I bet he's reading right now, looking down, and smiling at you. I'm so sorry for your loss, my pseudo-sis. If you need anything... even just a friend to talk to, I'm here for you. :-)

Much love from the east,

Julie

Bourg Family said...

We lost my great grandmother 17 years ago Jan. 9th. Although each day does get easier, it's stories like yours that remind me just how much I do still miss her, especially during the holidays. She was a very special woman. Praying for peace & comfort for your family.

Amy said...

We have been having a family crisis as well so I apologize for not writing sooner - but please know that my heart feels your pain and I have been praying for your family. What a great tribute you have written and what a great man! Because I'm one of the youngest in my family, I have lost all four of my grandparents - I miss them but find comfort in the memories and knowing that they are in a better place watching over me. Again, you're in my thoughts - love you.

Erin said...

This post literally brought me to tears. I'm so very sorry for your loss. I'll be praying for you and your family. And praying that your grandma will somehow understand and remember what's happening. My grandma also has Dementia, so I know how hard and emotionally draining that can be. Stay strong and keep finding comfort in your memories of him. You've got lots of people praying for you guys!

Global Girl said...

Oh, gosh...

Sorry seems inadequate!

Please take care!

Leah said...

Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss! I will be praying for your family during this time. May God comfort you as you remember the life of such a wonderful man.

stefanielynn04 said...

I have never left a comment on your blog before (that I remember), but I wanted to chime in on this post. This is such a wonderful tribute to your grandfather and he is in such a special place right now! Reading this brought tears to my eyes, but they were a mixture of happy and sad tears. I will be thinking of you and your family during this time (even though we have never met, but your story touched me!).

3 Peanuts said...

Oh Jill,
I am so very sorry for your pain and loss. Your grandfather sounds like he was an amazing man....the kind of man who we all should have in our lives.

I love the jackhammer story. I laughed so hard.

I will pray for your family during this extremely difficult time.

nault's nook said...

oh sweetie, praying for you!! Im so sorry for your loss.

Jennifer said...

I'm really behind on my Reader and just now saw this. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I know it must be hard, especially right before the holidays. But this was such a beautifully written post about him--what a great tribute.

You and your family are in my prayers!

Beth said...

Beautiful tribute Jill. I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds like your PawPaw was a wonderful man & left behind a lasting legacy. You could see the kindness in his eyes.

Jules said...

Jill, this was such a wonderful post to honor your pawpaw with. My heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family and I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you have a lot of happy memories of your times with him to carry with you throughout the rest of your life. I loved the slip-n-slide story. Take comfort in knowing that he is at peace in heaven. If there is anything you need, please let me know. I’m thinking of you.

melissa said...

Jill, I am so very sorry to hear of your beloved pawpaw's passing. Your wonderful memories will carry you through this time of sorrow. This is such a beautiful tribute to your grandfather. My prayers are with you and your family. May God wrap His arms you and give you comfort and peace. Big Hugs

KAC said...

This is a wonderful post, and I am so sorry for your family's lost. My thoughts and prayers go out to both you and your family.

Dawn ~ BJSMomma said...

I loved reading the memories you are sharing and holding dear during this time. I know you will always draw on the. I also loved the first photo of your grandfather. Matter of fact, you resemble him in that photo. Praying for you and your family. And yes...I can just imagine what that reunion was like in Heaven, looking forward to it myself when it's "my turn".


Dawn
Delaware.

Sharon said...

Such a lovely post about what you are feeling and he must have been such a special man. I loved 90 min iun heaven and remember that part even though its been two years since i read it. HOPE! God bless you Jill!!

Miss Janice said...

Bless your heart Jill. I am soooo behind in my blog reading and just now read your post from the 15th and then this one. What a beautiful tribute you have written about your grandfather. I know you and your entire family will miss him so much. My deepest sympathy to you.
Regards,
Miss Janice

Stephanie said...

I just found your blog, and wanted to say that I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather. He sounds like a truly wonderful man. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts through this very difficult time.

ClassiclyAmber said...

I am in tears over reading your story and reading all about your Pawpaw. He sounds like he was so much like my OWN Pawpaw, who passed away from pancreatic cancer in Feb. 2007. My heart still aches so badly for him and I have dreams where I'm seeing him and hugging him again. What a blessing it is to know that he knew the King, though...it brings the only relief from the never-ending sorrow of it all.

My family will definitely be praying for you and your family as you deal with this difficult time. I know that pain all too well.

Blessings to you all~!

Emily said...

Jill, I'm saddened to hear of your loss, but know that in the very short but beautiful blog that you've posted on him, he was a terrific man. I will be praying for you and your family during this time, and pray and hope that you will once again find joy through this season of pain. Thinking of you!

Bea's World said...

Praying 4 u and ur family at this time.