Friday, February 20, 2015

Sweet Pah-Pah

I can't believe today marks one year since our sweet Pah-Pah left us... So much has changed since that day yet it still feels like it was yesterday.  Not only was February 20th, 2014 a very hard day for us all... It was also a truly beautiful experience that my family and I got to share together.

At around 3am that morning my grandma woke up (on her own) got dressed and ready and was making her coffee when we got "the call" from the nursing home that we probably didn't have much time. It gives me goosebumps thinking about how my grandma knew and was literally ready to go within 5 minutes after the call (if you know her, it takes her much longer than 5 minutes to get ready so we were very thankful for that).  

My mom, grandma, and I were the first ones to arrive to the nursing home around 5am.  Shortly after that my Uncle Mike got there and we had such a nice few hours sitting around his bed telling stories from when my mom and uncle were younger.  We know Pah-Pah was loving the stories too :).  Little by little everyone got to the nursing home and by noon that day we were all squished into his room sitting together hand in hand telling stories and giving Pah-Pah all our love.  Around 1pm as he left us here on earth, we said a prayer together, and shared a few moments together as a family that I'm not sure could ever be put into words.  The feeling of love and peace was so strong and so present in the room... We know Pah-Pah was comfortable, happy, and could feel every single ounce of our love until his very last breath.

As he was wheeled out of the Veteran's nursing home that he had been in for over 10 years, they had an American Flag draped over him and played taps.  All of the staff and family stood in the hallways as this was going on and I am positive there was not a dry eye in the entire place.

As my grandma says, "he couldn't have had a better send off". 

He was the sweetest man you could ever meet and was the best husband, dad, grandpa, and great grandpa anyone could ever ask for.  We miss you so much, Pah-Pah... But we can only imagine the heck of a time you are having up there.  

A real, true example of "till death do us part" 

On my 8th grade graduation!

Hanging out in his room exactly a year ago.

He was always smiling!

Somehow, during his last day I happened to capture a photo of my Pah-Pah with his eyes wide open looking at my Grandma.  This was the last time he opened his eyes.  Because that day was such a blur, I honestly had no idea I got this picture until a few days later when looking through my camera roll on my phone and needless to say my grandma is SO thankful for that and is a picture she holds very very close to her heart.  

Grandma and I visiting his beautiful gravesite. 

One of the last family vacations he got to come on.

The whole family at his funeral.  I have so much love for every single one of these people.  We can't wait till we get to see you again Pah-Pah!

Thinking of him today and always <3