Fond Memories

A good friend of mine lost her grandfather this past week and his going home story is so similar to that of my grandfather's back in February 2006.  It has brought back sweet, sweet memories of my grandfather and I so feel for Ashley and her family as they say goodbye for now to their Grandaddy.  Grandaddies are special!  I called my grandaddy "Neenee" :)

This is a classic Neenee face :) Summer of 2005 out to dinner in Virginia.  We didn't plan to wear black and khaki together, but thought it was picture worthy!
Neenee, his daughters, and his oldest granddaughter
These 2 pictures are from the summer of 2005, just before I began my freshman year of college.  I always grew up spending nights over at my grandparents house.  Saturday mornings, Neenee would watch cartoons with me and make us big bowls of cornflakes.  He taught me how to dump loads of sugar on top :)  Neenee loved peanut butter and saltine crackers and drank Vitamin D milk.  He was hardworking, stubborn, and loved his guns, his wife, his kids, and his grand kids!

Probably building a toy in the background! Ha

In 2004, Neenee was diagnosed with prostate cancer.  He had surgery to remove his prostate and bladder and made a good recovery.  Now you recall how I just noted my Neenee's stubbornness....by summer 2005, we now in hindsight believe he knew his cancer was back or had metastasized, but didn't want to do the whole doctor, chemo, radiation thing and just wanted to keep living the time he had left!  Which I can respect and understand. 

To back up a bit, Spring of 2005, my oldest brother and his wife announced they were pregnant with their first baby, due in February of 2006!  We of course were all excited and thrilled.  This baby would make a 5th living generation on my mom's side!  Shortly after Christmas 2005, it was becoming obvious that Neenee was not ok and he finally made a trip to the doctor.  At that point, Neenee was diagnosed with Stage 4 liver and bone cancer.  From that point it progressed very quickly. 

I was away at school in the midst of my freshman year of college, my SIL was growing a baby almost ready to deliver, and Neenee was hospitalized.  My mom and brother, Rob, quickly left to be there, and my brother Josh, with a wife who could go into labor at any moment, made a quick day trip to say goodbye.  My brothers tell it better, as I did not have the chance to be there, but leaving the hospital and saying what they knew would be their last goodbye was heart wrenching.  Neenee asked Josh, "Has Callie had that baby girl yet?" Josh replied, "Well Neenee you remember we don't know the sex of the baby, yet!  We didn't find out."  But Neenee was persistent and we're all convinced he saw our sweet Roen before we did.  Neenee went home to be with Jesus Friday, February 3rd, 2006 around 9pm.  About an hour later, my SIL went into a long labor to bring the next new life of our family into the world just as a sweet one had left us.

Fortunately, I'll see Neenee again one day and my friends who just lost their sweet Grandaddy will see him again one day, too.  Although I miss Neenee, I wouldn't bring him back in the condition he was in, I cherish the man he was and that I was privileged enough to be his granddaugther.  Aaron Shust says it well in his lyrics "I am not skilled to understand what God has willed, what God has planned. I only know at his right hand, stands one who is my Savior."  May you be encouraged today and the days ahead.

Psalm 130  15 Our days on Earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die.  16 The wind blows, and we are gone -- as though we had never been here.  17 But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him.  His salvation extends to the children's children  18 of those that are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments!


Ashley said...

So sweet! Losing a grandpa is so sucky, but you are right! We will see them again! : ) Love you!

Mimi to 3 said...

What a sweet tribute to your Neenee and my Daddy! Miss him lots but so comforting to know we see each other again. Hoping Ashley and her family's memories bring them much comfort!