Friday, January 11, 2008

"...and today he joined up with Jesus, wearing shiny pearl snaps..."

It was 13 years ago this morning that I woke up to the very first day without my best friend in the whole world, my grandpa on my mother's side. He had gone to walk with God the day before, January 10, 1995. He had been sick for a long time, and I knew the day was coming when he wouldn't be here anymore, but you just can't really prepare yourself for such an occasion. We had his memorial service in the afternoon, and that's when it hit me that he was gone. I remember walking in the chapel there at the funeral home and seeing his flag-draped casket, and I got so weak I could barely stand up. I did my best to retain my composure through the service, but they opened the casket and I could barely stand to look at him in his pearl-snap shirt and blue jeans. I cried on my grandmother's shoulder till I didn't have any tears left, and I remember her saying afterwards, "You're gonna miss him like the mischief, but just remember, he's in a better place." I knew that, but Lord, was it hard. I remember two days after we buried him I was sitting at an Applebee's in Memphis, Tennessee and finding out that the Cowboys lost their playoff game and not caring the least little bit. I just wanted to go home, even though I knew what wasn't gonna be there anymore. Of course, the world started turning again, and I came to terms with it all, but those were the darkest days of my entire life. Incidentally, that flag now sits in a beautiful wooden display case on my desk...
Rest in peace, Pepaw. I love you.