One Year Ago

Ward

My daughter Alisha sent me this picture  and I wanted to share it.I guess everybody in my family is thinking about Ward today.I must admit I was too.Alisha is really good at taking pictures and making them special and I love this one.It made me think of how different today was compared to a year ago.I know now what the saying about time healing means.Last year at this time was probably one of the saddest days of my life.It was the day that Ward and cancer parted.Today I can rejoice in the end of suffering and not be selfish in letting go of a very dear person that I so loved.I love that smile on Wards face.Our Bethy was home from the Navy the day this picture was taken and she had just given Ward this hat from one of the officers in the Navy.I remember she told him that not everybody had a hat like that,it was an officers hat and he was thrilled to get it.

I don’t want to get sad because he is gone.I want to be thankful that I knew him.I know that I will see him again some day and he is in good company.Last year as I laid beside him as he was dying and even after he died I was so amazed that I wasn’t afraid.Death was a blessing for Ward because he was suffering.He fought the good fight up until the end and I am so proud how he left this earth.He was such a gentleman that even in death he was no trouble for me.He slipped away in quietness just like he came into my life.I didn’t want to meet him and I was as stubborn as a mule whenever Mom talked about him.All I could think was,here we go again.We never had an easy time with blended families and I wasn’t looking forward to another one.He was kind of stubborn too because it took him a while to warm up to us.After we adopted Bethany and Alisha they just one day started calling him Grandpa and he never corrected them.He was the only grandpa they ever knew.Bethy would crawl up on his lap and he would sit there like a statue.After a while he caved and he grew to love those little ones.He taught the girls how to drive in his Mustang and would take them for long car rides.They are the ones that really got him to go to church too.They kept bugging him to come to their Christmas program at church and one day Mom called me and announced that Perky wanted to get a new suit because he was going to the Christmas program.Once he went to church he was committed to that church.He went to everything and everybody loved him there.My Mom and he became good friends with every pastor we had.He cherished Bible study and he never missed.I knew those last few Sundays that he didn’t go to church the end was near.Perky knew where he was going and he was ready.

There is a lesson in this I want to share with my sweet grandkids.If I would have been as bullheaded as I wanted to be when Mom married Ward I would never have had this amazing man in my life.I wouldn’t have learned how to forgive things in my past and they would have anchored me down for the rest of my life.My walk with the Lord would have been compromised and I would have never healed.Sometimes you have to know when to fold and listen to that voice in your heart.Rejoice in the good and forget the bad.

I know that I never had the blood that ran through his veins in me and I accept that,but I did feel the same love in his heart and that means something to me.I miss him but he had to go and even in death he had this way about him.

Here is his tombstone and you can see what kind of a guy he was just by the words on it.It says I’m outta here and has a thumbs up for Little Ariana one of the grandkids he so cherished and spoiled rotten.

IMG_0209A year ago I couldn’t quit being sad but today I am thankful for the times we had before he was sick.Today I want to honor him and all he stood for in my life.I want to thank God that he sent me this man to help me and guide me and listen to me.I am a better person because I let him in.I hope that he realized how much he meant to me and if he didn’t I am sure my grandma is telling him now that he was blessed to have my sisters and me.I think they will be bragging about how good we turned out and proud they are of us.I can only imagine……………….

28 thoughts on “One Year Ago

  1. What a touching and beautiful post. This line: “I know that I never had the blood that ran through his veins in me and I accept that,but I did feel the same love in his heart” says it so profoundly. And I love the face in that photo.

  2. Oh, I’m so touched. This is the sweetest story ever. I can feel the emotion in your words – how much you loved him and miss him and how much you’ve healed over the past year.
    Thank you for sharing this, Liz. I’m moved.

  3. My biological family was so small that my “real” family growing up wasn’t necessarily my family by blood. Reading this, it strikes me again that blood isn’t the best basis for family, although that is often a big part of it.

    A lovely tribute. Thank you. I, too, try to remember to be thankful I loved instead of bereft that I have lost. Some days it’s easier than others, but it’s always a good goal to hold close to heart.

    • To me family is the beating of your heart not the blood that runs through it and you are right,being thankful for those that make us know we are loved is important,it’s such a blessing to have someone care about you.

  4. This is so beautifully written… i love how you manage to bring such a positive vibe to this experience. My mother passed away just this May, and I am still not quite out of the pain… though i do feel it transforming into an ache… more like a reminder of how much we loved, how much beauty we shared, and that this will always be missed… and always celebrated. The kids are still so young and miss her madly, so that’s part of the challenge. Reading your post has reminded me that while time does not make things go away, it can give us perspective. I love this tribute you wrote!!! thank you. Wishing you a magical day filled with smiles!!!!!

    • I still have that ache sometimes too,but then I try to focus on his smile and I am better.Our little ones in the family have a hard time of it too.Our Peyton is still trying to pray him back.When I tell her Grandpa wouldn’t want to come back she asks “Nana,what if he does?”She just doesn’t understand death yet.Her faith is so simple and I love that.I know as time goes by she will get it.I am so sorry you had to lose your Mom.I still have mine and I treasure her.Blessings.

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