Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Best Man I've Ever Known

It's too late to go for another run to clear my head so I guess I'll type even though my thoughts are scattered and I'm sure my sentences will be too...
My grandfather, my Poppy Jack, passed away. No matter what, you are never ready for that phone call. I knew his cancer was causing his kidneys to deteriorate quickly. I had always assumed he'd be around for at least another year. Not that I would get a call that he wasn't doing well on Monday and then the news today. I've heard before that many of the feelings you have when you lose someone are selfish. I couldn't agree more. I wanted to see him again. I wanted him to dance with me at my wedding. I was his only granddaughter out of eight grandchildren. He would have doted on me (getting married) more than he usually does. I just wanted him to be around for me. I can't even breath. I wanted him to see me get married almost more than anything. I had talked with Nathan about how important it was to me. About sharing those moments that parents and grandparents live for. It would have made Poppy Jack's world.
He became ill a few months after my grandmother passed away in February. I knew something like this would happen. Nathan had told me about his paternal grandparents. His grandmother passed away and six months later, his grandfather passed away. His heart gave out and the doctors said that he died of a broken heart. The stress placed on him after losing her became too much. Now, my Mammaw had Alzheimers and had to move to a nursing home. She was not able to care for herself and my Poppy Jack couldn't lift her to take care of her. He never wanted her to go into a home and it took much convincing that he just wasn't physically able to care for her. He was there to visit her as soon as the doors opened in the morning and left after he'd tucked her into bed every night. I can only dream of love so great. Every single day. He only went home to sleep. They were married 63 years. I have never seen a greater love. Never an unkind word, short temper, or many of the other things I display in my own relationship. At Mammaw's funeral, everyone commented on the strength of their marriage. They didn't always 'have', but they made the best out of every single day.
The funeral was the last time I saw Poppy Jack. He told me then that he would get in the casket with Mammaw if he could. He also told me that the next time I came to Tennessee would probably be for his funeral. I knew then that if he got sick he wasn't going to put in the same fight that he would have if he needed to live for his wife.
I still can't believe it. Those wonderful memories I made at their house as a child cannot be added to. I can't crawl into the attic and look through his keepsakes. I can't get him to make his cornbread for me. (He knew it was done when the smoke alarm went off! Ha!) As I re-read my last thoughts I am correct in my statement about selfishness. I'm only worried about how this is affecting myself. I am also grieving for my Dad. He lost both of his parents in six months. (Six months and two days to be exact.) I can't imagine the pain.
I'm out of thoughts. Call your grandparents and tell them how much you love them.


  1. I cried while reading this. Losing a grandparent is so hard. We lost my grandpa 2 years ago, and my grandma is really sick. Even knowing they are in a better place doesn't always help. I'm very sorry for your loss. Your family will be in my prayers.

  2. My Dearest Nikki,

    I related to you so much while reading your post. I hurt for you only because I have been in your position. You never expect that phone call. I can remember all three of "the phone calls" I have gotten. As your friend I wish I could take your pain away, but it is a process. All I can do is to keep you and your family in my prayers, and trust God that He will take care of you. Please let me know if you need anything. Give your family my love. Talk to you soon.