I know, I know…I haven’t posted in almost a week. I think that may be a record for me!
But I think I had a pretty valid excuse.
Our family also had another life-altering event: Marshall’s grandfather died.
He was 92 years old. I’d only known him the past 10 years or so, as his health continued to decline. But even as things got more difficult for him and even when he couldn’t quite communicate what he wanted to, I never failed to feel a certain peace around Papa.
All things I am not…and wish I were.
In the years that I knew him, I rarely heard him speak. I remember one morning at his house, only he and I were in the kitchen. I’m not usually very good at sitting and being quiet, but something about his demeanor made the silence not only comfortable, but something I craved.
Papa died a few days after my surgery. As we were preparing to make the drive for the funeral, we got word that several family members had a terrible stomach virus. Weary of anything that might cause an upset to my recovery, we all agreed it was best if the children and I didn’t go. And although I’m glad to be germ-free, there’s a part of me that wishes I’d gone. I’ve never been good with closure. Death, no matter how expected and no matter what age, tends to pull the rug out from under your feet, doesn’t it?
But he lived a good life. He was happy. More than happy, he was content.
Papa was a proud WWII Army Veteran who found himself far, far from south Georgia when he landed on Normandy beach. He was a dedicated husband and father. He was the Postmaster of his then-tiny town for years. Proud of his heritage, he was a member of the Georgia Salzburger Society. And I recently learned something that I’d never known about Papa: he was one of the founding members of the local fire department back in the 1950s, and he was fire chief in the 1960s.
To honor Papa, the local fire department did something I’ve never seen before. They put two trucks on either side of the road and use the extended ladders to form an arc across the roadway. You can see the display in the video here.
What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man.