August 21, 2012
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Let me start this off by saying how much I HATE goodbyes. I was the girl that cried every year as I drove away from OU, sad about leaving my roomies and friends. Death is the hardest goodbye there is, as it seems so final. The thought of never seeing someone again breaks my heart.

I have learned over the years that death is not something to be feared or mourned. With each family member that has passed away, I have gained a little more understanding about how GOOD death actually can be. While it stinks to be the ones left on Earth, our loved ones get to go to HEAVEN! So instead of looking at it as a negative, I have tried really hard to approach the death of loved ones as a celebration instead of a time to mourn. Reading the book Heaven is for Real really helped me wrap my brain more around this. I have always believed in Heaven, but hearing details about it from a child gave me even more faith that there is so much more to look forward to in the next life! If you’ve never read it, I highly recommend it! ūüôā

My Grandpa Bob passed away around 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 21st. He had been suffering from a very aggressive form of Alzehimer’s. We knew he was rapidly going downhill mentally, but he had been relatively well physically. Recently he began refusing food and drink, and hospise came in to help make him comfortable. We knew it was a matter of time before he passed, since one can only survive for so long with no food or liquids. While I am so sad that he had to suffer in this way, it was nice that we had some warning to say our goodbyes. Two of his daughters that lived out of town were able to make it to Cincinnati to spend his last few days with him. My parents, Jason, Peyton, and I got to spend two evenings with him and watch him rest peacefully. And of course my Grandma could hold his hand, kiss him, and be with him before he left.

Enough about the typical sad stuff…on to the celebration! ūüôā

My Grandpa and Grandma had four daughters, ten grandchildren, and¬†eight great grandchildren (#9 on the way!). It always amazes me how two people in love can create such a large family and multiply that love! When we were younger, most everyone lived in or near Cincinnati, and we would get together often. Eventually my grandparents moved to Florida, and we enjoyed going down and visiting them there. They moved back to Cincinnati last summer, just in time for my wedding. When I did my dance with my dad, I also invited my mom to dance with her dad. I knew how much that would mean to her, but I had no idea he wouldn’t live to see my one year wedding anniversary (he was 6 days short!). I am SO glad I gave my mom that memory, and now we have wonderful pictures from that dance to look back on. That was the last time I remember him fully healthy, and is the way I choose to remember him. I’m sure he’s dancing away in Heaven! Well, probably not…he’s probably playing golf, eating pretzels,¬†or¬†taking a nap in a big lazy boy chair! ūüôā

It also means the world to me that Peyton got to meet him.¬†As¬†most of you know, Peyton was the biggest and best surprise of our lives! ūüėČ I knew God had a reason for giving her to us when He did. I think part of the reason was so that she could meet her “GG Bob,” and that God knew she would help everyone through the tough times that were to come.¬†My¬†Grandpa truly lit¬†up around Peyton. Even when¬†his mind was going and he had a hard time remembering who people were,¬†he would see her and smile. When my mom would visit him alone, he would often ask where the baby was (as she would¬†visit most Friday’s while my mom babysat). And when he was in¬†his final days, I got many phone calls requesting a Peyton visit.¬†This time not so much for him, but for everyone else in his room. She sure knows how to provide comedic relief and get people’s minds off things! I¬†am SO grateful God blessed Jason and I with Peyton early. He sure knew what¬†He was doing!

Grandpa, I miss you so much already. I¬†have missed¬†you even before you were really¬†gone. As sad as we are to see you go, we also rejoice in knowing you are in Heaven and restored to your happy, healthy self. No more suffering, no more confusion. We now have another wonderful angel to watch down on us, and I¬†already feel your presence. I know you are¬†probably hanging out with¬†my Grandpa Vern and Grandma Ginny, because you always got along so well here on Earth. Give them a big hug for me! I also honestly believe that you will get to meet the lil’ boy growing in my belly before he decides to come¬†and join us. We promise¬†to continue to honor your legacy and grow our family!

And finally, I will always remember¬†our little secret. I loved how you would pull me aside, ever since I was a little girl, and whisper in my ear, “Do you remember our little secret?” Of course it was that you loved me! I cracked up that you still did that even when I was a grown adult. That is¬†such a special memory for me, one that I will always remember and cherish. Perhaps I need to tell my Daddy-O to start that with Peyton. I’m sure it will make¬†her feel as special as it did me!

Have fun in Heaven, Grandpa, and we’ll see you when we get there!

Love,

Kristi

 

Here are some family photo’s of the legacy¬†my Grandpa¬†built, my favorite pictures of him at our wedding, and a few of him and Peyton.

The above picture is my favorite, taken when we went to visit him on Christmas. <3

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