Thursday night, huddled close to each other around the hospital bed that has been in our dining room since June, Trey, his mom, his sister Lori, and I watched Pop take his final breaths. Robin was on the phone with us the whole time as she and her family were driving to us from their home in Washington DC. It wasn’t like I thought it would be. It was impossible to determine the exact moment of his passing because it was that peaceful. For a long time, I was genuinely concerned about the effect Pop’s death would have on me – would I be able to eat at our dining room table again knowing that a man had died there? Would I be able to be everything Trey needed me to be while dealing with my own issues of being overwhelmed by crowds and clutter when his family arrived? I can’t explain it any other way than our house and our family were covered completely by a peace that passes all understanding.
The chaos that comes with 14 people trying to get fed and dressed and expel energy seemed to be blurred – almost as if it were in slow motion. Amid everything that needed to be done, there was peace. There was time for hugs, and some pretty deep conversations with young nieces who were missing their Pop. They had even wanted to search the house to make sure we weren’t hiding him anywhere. There was laughter and tears, and lots of joy. Because I think we all were dealing with the sadness of his passing, mixed with the relief that this very difficult season is over and the joy in knowing he is no longer bed-ridden and he is singing and dancing in Heaven with Jesus and all those who went before him.
I cannot express enough gratitude for the love and support we have felt over the past few days. We have been fed and cared for, we have been hugged and supported, and we have been overwhelmed by the number of people who have reached out to us this past weekend.
For those who haven’t read it, here is the link to Pop’s obituary. Right now, we’re planning two additional memorial services: one in Beamont, TX for Pop’s family and the churches they served while they lived there, and one in Spartanburg, SC where Deb’s family is and where Pop’s ashes will be interred. We have tentative dates scheduled, but they will of course be contingent on when Pop’s ashes are returned to us from the funeral home. My prayer is that each service will be more and more of a celebration of his life (and that’s going to be tough to do, because this past Sunday’s service was amazing). I know that after a very long road, Trey and I are looking forward to putting Pop to rest in Spartanburg, and taking a few weeks of rest for ourselves to spend with friends and family.
We love you all and cannot thank you enough for the prayers, support, hugs, food, and love we have felt. Thank you.