So all I can do at this moment is reflect upon my Granddaddy’s life and the impact he made on his family as well as the community. Sunday was the roughest day I have ever experienced in my life. I have never felt more sorrow or seen as much sorrow out of grandchildren as I felt and saw this weekend. There are only 3 of us grandchildren, me being the only granddaughter as well as the youngest. During 95 years and 73 years of marriage on this earth my Granddaddy created a good name for himself. Being born, living and dyeing in the same community during his 95 years we greeted around 250 people in a 2 day time span.
About 40 went to the service at the cemetery in the 20 degree cold weather. I’ve never seen that many people come through a funeral home for one person in my life much less that many people at the cemetery. Though it was a sad day and one that we have sort of expected for several months now I was very blessed and surprised by friends and loved ones who came to love on us and those who sent notes and emails. It’s a blessing to know that you are supported, loved and thought of during rough times.
This weekend was set up from the beginning. I had planned over a month ago to go home this weekend for my birthday to meet a family friend from Knoxville to go shoot some photographs. It was all God’s hand because he loves my Granddaddy and was able to celebrate his life with us as a family. And we still got to go hit some backroads to take some pictures too.
God gave me a vision about 8 months ago that I would be pregnant when my Granddaddy passed away. So the day I found out we were, God began to prepare my heart, somewhat, for that time. Though it was a little sooner than I expected knowing the fact that we are bringing another generation into this world for our family and to pass on everything my Granddaddy taught me growing up, was a major comfort to all of us.
Seeing her never leaving my Granddaddy’s side, patting the top of his head and hands, and then kissing him goodnight before leaving the funeral home melted my heart. But she held up well and I was very proud of her. She is stronger than she thinks she is. Being married to the same man for 73 years, since she was 17, is going to be a struggle for her to get use to being by herself and making decisions on her own. She has many decisions to make in the coming months and even years maybe but the Lord is by her side and He gives her the strength she needs daily.
In my 28 years with my Granddaddy I learned a lot. Several things being that a little hard work never killed anyone. I remember when we would hang tobacco he would tell me to stick out my tongue and grunt when he handed me the biggest sticks of tobacco he could find on the travel for me to carry to the back of the barn to my brother to hang in the rafters. I learned to never take for granted the warmth of the sun no matter what time of year. I learned to always enjoy spending time with friends and family and enjoy their company because today could be the last.
I learned no matter how often your spouse aggravates you they are still there to support, encourage and take care of you. I’m sure there are a lot more things that he taught me that made me who I am today and that will hopefully be carried on to my children as well as seen within the community I live in, but I don’t want to bore you with more than I already have. Just know that what you do, who you serve, and who you make yourself out to be that people around you are watching and there will come a day of your funeral where people will celebrate who you were in their life.
My Granddaddy of 95 years on this earth let people know he was willing to do anything for anybody for no price at all, made it through a depression on a farm, raising 2 kids, taking care of farm animals, building barns and houses, raising tobacco and hay all of his life all being respected by a community that I love. Thank you for all the prayers. Know that they were felt and still are being felt by all the family. After this year by birthday will never be the same.