If we were having coffee today, I would meet you at my front door. I’d help you navigate yourself and your littles around all the dirt and apologize for the construction. Our kids would immediately hug because their becoming fast friends and off they would go, disappearing into one of their rooms to play dress up or airplanes. I would look at you and we would smile at each other, knowing that this was our chance to get a few minutes of real adult conversation in before someone needed us.
I would pour you a cup of fresh hot coffee + ask you if you wanted vanilla creamer. I’m a huge lover of vanilla creamer in my coffee. Always have been. In fact my latest love is McDonalds ice vanilla coffee. Sometimes I treat myself. It’s much cheaper than Starbucks and doesn’t have all the milk in it. I would apologize for missing our coffee date last week, life got the best of me.
After we got our cup of coffee, I would invite you to sit and relax. There will probably be a land mine of toys on the floor, evidence of a fun morning of play left out by my littles. After all you can’t clean it up until you’re absolutely sure you’re not going to play with it again that day, right? *giggle* I’m sure you know this all too well.
I would sip my coffee and probably let out a sigh. The words all might just start to flow out like an uncontrollable river about the loss of an important man in our family on Wednesday night… at 8:40pm to be exact. Kyle’s Papa (his father’s dad) took his final breath and went to be with Jesus. He was surrounded by those who loved him the most as he held his wife of almost 60 years hands and said goodbye. There were no words, just a long, deep breath, followed by no movement to signify that he was gone. It’s funny because we’ve been so keenly aware over the last couple months that his dementia had worsened, yet his final moment still came as a shock to our souls. He took a horrible fall on Mother’s Day and hit the back of his head. In the weeks leading up to Wednesday it had been touch and go. We thought we were going to loose him, but he stayed with us. He knew we needed him.
I want to believe that after being surrounded by his family + loved ones on Wednesday, he felt that he was given final moments to say goodbye in his own way. While mostly unconscious, I do believe he knew they were there. You know how I know? The family left at one point for about an hour to grab dinner, he passed less than 15 minutes after they returned back to him. He knew. Knew he was loved, knew it was time to say goodbye, knew he needed to wait for their return to go be with Jesus. And now he’s rejoicing in Heaven, dancing pain free with the angels and it’s so wonderful and glorious and so sad at the same time.
Sad for those who he left behind. He was a man with a legacy that will live one. One that we will share with our children of how he loved people + Jesus and the missions field. How he and his wife housed missionaries for many, many years when they would visit from all around the world. How they served in their church. How he served our country and was a proud veteran of the Merchant Marines. And even how he was the inventor of the baby carrot.
If we were having coffee, through tears, I would share that I have no idea how we’re going to tell the kids. I believe it’s so important for them to know since they have had the opportunity to have a relationship with him while he was alive. They knew he was sick + we had talked about how much he loved Jesus and how Jesus might come and bring Papa to live with him in Heaven, but how do we share that it happened? How do we find the right words to tell them he’s gone and not coming back? They are still so young to have to experience the passing of someone they know and love. Have you gone through this? I would love any advice you have.
We love you and miss you already Papa!!
After I poured my heart out for, probably, way too long, I would refill your cup, settle the kids with a snack on a big picnic blanket and ask you how you’re doing? How have you been the last 2 weeks?