Saturday, May 7, 2011

Ten Years

Michelle, Papa, and Me in my parents' backyard on Easter.
 Dear Papa,

Wow.  Saying I cannot believe it's been ten years since you died is an understatement.  I REALLY can't believe it's been ten years.  Sure, you were sick right before you died, but it was still a shock.  I don't think I actually thought you'd die in the hospital bed at Baptist.

I remember the day, vividly.  I was wearing a yellow spaghetti strapped shirt that was "illegal" to wear at Hall, and so I had a red Razorback sweatshirt over it, and jeans.  I was waiting for Mama to pick me up from school, but I knew she was late.  When I realized how late she was, I knew something was wrong.

After Daddy picked me up, we went straight to the hospital.  I headed right back to see you, but Aunt Debbie and her brother-in-law, Dave, stopped me.  I remember hearing Daddy start crying, and I just knew.  I fell into Dave, and he held me for a minute before we went to your room.

I'll admit, it took me a while to "get over" your death.  I remember telling God that night that I wouldn't accept it, and for the longest time, I didn't.  I knew you were fully healed -- your lungs now worked, you were with your wife, and your brothers and sisters and parents.  But, I wanted you here, with us.

However, in the years that have followed, I have found immense comfort that you're my guardian angel. For all the good times we had on Earth, I can't even imagine the party you're having in Heaven.  I know your golf game probably improved -- and I am sure we're all happy about that. ;-)  When Aunt Debbie died, I remember wanting you on Earth more than I had in a while.  I'm sure you were happy about seeing her again, but I knew your bear hugs would have been welcomed during those days.  (Plus, having you at my wedding the next day would have been fun!)

Since you've died, I have realized you're a part of my future more than my past.  Life has moved on.  Your daughter is now a wonderful, wonderful Nana.  I'm now married, with two children.  (And, yes, Dillon might be the family name... but he IS named after you.)  Michelle is a beautiful woman, inside and out, in pharmacy school.  I take comfort in that you can watch all this from above, and relish in the good times with us.

While I don't want it to be too soon, I am looking forward to our eternal future, Papa.  Thanks for the lessons in football, faith, and family.  I tell your great grandsons about you almost daily.  You'd love them, just as you loved Michelle and me.  Keep watching over us.

I love you,
Your granddaughter,

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