Thursday, March 31, 2016

love the ones you're with...

It's hard to write.  It's hard to know what to say.

Ever since Papa's death a few weeks ago, we've been in a stage of grief.  Life is moving at too fast a pace for us to feel like we can keep up.  We're going about our days, functioning enough to do what needs doing, but we don't really know how to wade through the process of grief.  We don't really know how to pick up and carry on after the death of a parent.  It just feels like we should be waking up from a terrible dream any minute.

It's probably not a surprise that Easter was difficult.  I know that Easter is supposed to be cheerful, a celebration of Jesus conquering the grave!, and while the truth of the resurrection does give us hope, it doesn't take away the very present sting of death that we are currently feeling.  

Grieving or not, we don't traditionally do much for Easter around our place-- mostly because I'm a worship director and coordinating music for Easter is a pretty big day on the job-- but I'm just not a mom who's able to pull together treats and baskets and cook an elaborate meal when I'm here in a town without any family.  (Thankfully, my kids don't care, don't ask for it, and don't expect it...)    

My poor "deprived" children were fortunate enough to do an egg hunt at a gig of mine, AND I bought an egg-dying kit 2 days after Easter (50% off, woohoo!), to which they were thrilled.   Success! 

But thankfully the one thing we can do (and that's thanks to my mom, "Mamie") is to look nice at church on Easter morning!   Well, that's until the minute we're trying to leave the house for church and I'm running around the house like crazy because I can't find a single matching pair of socks for Jameson.... 
SO, he was all decked out in his bowtie and vest outfit for church.  WITH NO SOCKS. (ha!)

(And being the perfectionistic, Type "A" person that I am, I struggled with feeling like a complete failure of a mom on the way to church just because of a pair of stinkin' SOCKS. I have issues.)  
Blue was the color this Easter! 

I eventually got over myself and the dumb sock failure.

With everything sad happening in the last few weeks, we decided to skip town after church and squeeze in some quality family time.  All four of us piled into a king-sized hotel bed.  So what if we got very little sleep?  Hey, what we got were memories.

The next morning, we visited the North Carolina Zoo.

This is what Jameson couldn't WAIT to see at the zoo:

ELEPHANTS!   (His favorite animal right now)

There was just something healing about breaking the routine and visiting the zoo together.
Watching lemurs sunbathe.
Being inches away from a sleeping gorilla.
Watching the joy across their face as they rode the carousel.

It was magical to watch this chimpanzee reach out to meet Jameson's hand on the glass.
But this moment for me was hands down worth the trip!!:

We aren't promised tomorrow, so let's squeeze the marrow out of all the moments today.

Thursday, March 10, 2016


Today, Marc's father went to be with Jesus.

He was a faithful husband for 61 years.

But around my house, he was affectionately known as "Papa."

He was the grandparent that loved you to the moon and back.

first time meeting Caroline
first time meeting Jameson
From the first time meeting my babies, he was smitten.  Though they weren't through his bloodline, he loved them just the same.

When he was able to travel, he loved nothing more than to ride up the road to come and visit us.

He'd save up all his pennies and give them to Caroline for ice cream money.

Although he gradually lost his eyesight, he kept his humor as well as his title "King of the Twist."

Over the years, Papa's walking stick made for a great microphone.

And Papa's leg made for a great horse-y.

But it was Papa's love and Papa's humor that we'll remember forever.

As Papa's health declined in recent years, and the "long goodbye" of dementia set in, we watched Papa able to do less, but love more. 

We watched a faithful wife serve day after day.

Jameson loved to help Papa
And as Papa needed more and more care, God was so faithful to provide it to him.  

Our hearts are broken this day.
My children have lost their Papa.

A wife has lost her husband.

My husband has lost his father.

And our family has lost its patriarch.

But what a beautiful legacy he leaves behind.

We know death is not the end.

We know that one day He will swallow up death and wipe the tears from our faces.  (Isaiah 25:8)

Just as sure as the body of Jesus was raised from the dead, so will all of those who trust in Him be raised again.

Papa, we already miss you like crazy.   It just feels like you should still be sitting in your chair at home enjoying some candy.

But well done to a life well-lived.  
You will be remembered as a man that loved Jesus and his family above all else.
We will surely see you again.