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.
A 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……………….
I have told you about our little Love Nest in Sebewaing that I loved and after Mom had four kids in that little one bedroom garage turned house we moved.My sister Linette was the baby and not quite a month old.About this time Mom’s Dad my Grandpa Jahr bought a farm and it had a HUGE sand brick house on it.He would pay us and we could live there for free if we did the chores and fed the feeder cattle or pigs which ever Grandpa was getting ready for the stock market at the time.I was pitching silage with Mom and Dad before I was eight years old.It has both good and bad memories attached to it and I try to focus on the the good.
The house had four big bedrooms upstairs and one downstairs.We turned a parlor into another bedroom so there was two bedrooms to sleep in downstairs.We girls slept in the bedroom and Mom and Daddy slept in the parlor.The first summer we saw the place before we even moved in my mom and grandma were hoeing the fields of that farm.They would have us take naps in the cool of the house in the afternoon with Grandma’s famous green sponge things we slept on that my sister Linette has commented on.Two girls in a closet,I guess for darkness and two in the room we would later use as our living room.I remember one time Linette and I were in the closet and we heard a like buzzing sound and then the smell of burnt wires.It seems that Lori stuck something in a outlet socket and we shorted out something.I was scared to death and knew we were in trouble.It wasn’t long before Grandma came in and started snooping around saying what happened.I was glad it was her because she never spanked and got everything under control.
It was here that the last of the little Hahn girls made her appearance and here she is with Linda and Lori.I love this picture of her and as you can see Linda is holding her hand.She always was Linda’s baby.We always had the babies with us even before they could walk.We played in that big yard and pretended with our cousins all the time.
We had this stroller thing and the babies were always in it being pushed around.I don’t know where that thing came from but we racked up miles and miles pushing our little sisters.This is our dog Tippy that I tried to train like Grandma Jahr did her dogs but I was never any good at it.We lost more dogs at that house because it was on a very busy road and there was a chicken coop across from us that the dogs always wanted to go to.We never had a refrigerator in that house just the big freezer so we always put our milk in between the door and the screen door in the winter to keep it cold and Mom would freeze and unthaw from the freezer in the summer.One time Grandpa gave Mom some money for feeding the cattle and she gave it to Daddy to go by a used refrigerator from one of his friends that had a gas station in town.She wasn’t very happy that he brought us back a little dog instead of the fridge.There was some words, I remember, but that was Dad.We loved that little dog.I finally had a dog that could do tricks and climb ladders and everything.Her name was Mitzy and we just adored her.Before the end of the summer she was killed on that crazy road down by the corner and I saw her.Daddy and I went down and got the little dog to bury and I remember him being as sad as I was.He took me in his arms and just let me sob and he cried too because I was so sad.You know I can almost feel his arms around me right now as I think of it.I guess there are some things that never leave you and that day was one of them.He hated to see us cry and when one of the animals died it was horrible.This reminds me of our cat Joey that we had in Sebewaing.I was looking for it in the winter and couldn’t find it so I told Daddy.We went hunting outside and found that cat frozen in our shed out back.I begged Daddy to put in on the stove to thaw it out and I remember Mom and him being so sad telling me that we couldn’t do that.Mom remembers that day too and her smile when we said the same words at the same time I will treasure.
That house gave me many things,my last Hahn sister that I love,many fun times with our cousins there(remember the Deeg boys)and it also brought me much unhappiness.I refuse to let the bad take over my memories.I have much to be thankful for.I know that my stepfathers were horrible to us five girls but you know what,Ward trumped them all.He gave me back my childhood memories and I hope he knows it.His childhood was terrible too and he never treated me with anything but kindness and I will treasure his memory like I do my LBS(life before stepfathers).I love my sisters and all that Ward gave me.I hope he is in Heaven telling my dad what good girls that we turned out to be.Thank you God for giving me a dad and a mom that loved me and for Ward.You have given me much Lord and I hope that I can give it to someone in return.God bless my family,warts and all.