Unfortunately my Grandaddy passed away on August 13th at 1:30am. He went very peacefully and very happy and he’s in a better place now, it’s just very hard to except yet. I still keep thinking that someone is going to call me and say, JUUUST kidding. All of my cousins were able to be there except for one. He was stuck in Africa doing some field study or something for his doctorate and couldn’t leave. He did get the chance to spend last week with our other cousin and visit with my family. I was sick and didn’t feel like going to visit, which I’m kind of sad about, but there’s nothing I can do to change it now, so I’m not dwelling on it.
Grandaddy looked handsome though. It was amazing to see all the people that loved him so much. And the best part of it was that, they live in this little tiny town in East Texas where everybody knows everybody and has since they were born. So I’ve either met all these people when I was little or I’ve heard about them since I was born. So people would come around and say hello to us and tell us they were good friends with my grandparents (or even my parents who both grew up in the same small town) and I would have to ask who they were. I would either know their face and couldn’t place a name, or would know a name and now had a face to put with it.
I did get to say goodbye to him one last time. My husband and I got to go and visit them the weekend before he passed away (he passed on a Monday night/early Tuesday morning). I gave him one last kiss on the head since that was the only place on his whole body that didn’t hurt. I’m not sure if he even knew who I was, I knew who he was. And I was okay with that. I cried a lot the week before he died because I knew that when I went to see him on that Saturday that that was the last time I was going to see him alive. Not that I knew he was going to die the next week, I just knew that I couldn’t afford the gas to go back until it was time for his funeral.
My cousins and us decided that we weren’t going to be sad. He wouldn’t want us to be sad. We got to see a cousin (1st mind you) that we hadn’t seen in 11 years. My baby sister hadn’t seen her in 15 years (she just turned 18 last week and she was 3 the last time they had seen her). Through myspace and facebook over the last few years we’ve been able to connect with her, so it wasn’t a surprise to her when she saw my sister or anything. Just strange to have her there, but at the same time, not. I don’t know how to describe it. It was one of those things where it’s like, this is always how it is when we’re in Gilmer.
My best friend that just got married in May and his family also came (our families are best friends). That was awesome to have them there. My mom needed that so much. She had been threw so much that she needed someone outside of the family to come in and just listen to her. That was all. Give her a hug…but not like they were sad with her, but sad for her.
I’m kind of looking forward to the Holidays, but not really. I haven’t been back to Gilmer since his funeral and I think it’s going to be strange for him not to be there. It was weird and icky when I was there last time, too. We all felt it, it was strange. We all kept expecting him to walk in the room and give his memorable “HEEEY” like only he could say it (although we can all imitate him doing it), but it never came.
It’s alright though. We keep on living. And my older sister is the spitting image of his personality so we’ve got that going for us. Maybe her son (who’s due in January, yay) will be like him, too. We all miss him, but we’ll see him again some day.