This was our favorite Papa quote. It was as random as they come and frankly at times that was Papa. He was my last living grandparent and tonight he went home to be reunited with both Nana and Mom. In all honesty, the day my Mom died, a good chunk of him did too, and it just grew when Nana went too. It was hard for me to see him in so much pain.... as a friend put it recently, my heart was too soft to see him in pain.
I feel good knowing he isn't hurting anymore, that was so hard for me. In some ways I guess when someone goes quickly its hard and shocking but you don't have to see them suffer. I found it very difficult after Nana died and he deteriorated slowly into a person I didn't recognize... and someone who didn't always recognize me.
This picture was from the night of my 30th birthday. I was so happy that night, my family was together, I was pregnant with Xander and yet in a few weeks life as I knew it was about to change again. Nana died, and Papa was moved to the island. For me, who was seeing them both almost daily, it was a huge change. I still drive by where they lived and have a moment of longing for them both to be there to visit.
The hardest moment tonight came when we had to tell Ariel. She cried, and hugged us tight. I hate seeing her cry like that... just too much. Ken told her that he was heaven with Nana and Grandma Vickie, and she got some comfort from that.
My head is spinning with funny stories and moments with Papa. The cows all over the house reminding us of his days a milk tester. The video of him dressed a a woman singing 9 to 5 for an air band performance at the high school where he worked as a janitor. Nana's sweater was never the same after those balloons stretched it out. Haha. I loved looking at the yearbook cover that had his picture on it and the little mementos around that he was given when he retired. He had this huge box of pencils in the cupboard, as he would never throw them out when cleaning the halls of the school. I was impressed when as an adult he learned to swim. How he took us fishing and taught us the fine art of gutting the fish afterwards. He always had a full shed of junk that I came to use for various art projects over the years and an attic that we both were notorious for saving stuff in, I think I got my pack rat gene from him.
In the coming weeks things will be decided and plans made. For now we take our memories and hold them close. I love this picture, as Papa wasn't always the best in photos, usually talking through them.... I miss you Papa, I have a feeling the gardens up there are going to be looking fabulous.