Thursday, August 26, 2010

I got this email from my dad this morning....

Dear family,

It's was ten years ago today, August 26, 2000, that Grampa left us.

I think about him alot.

Love to all,

Dad/Greg/Uncle Greg

I remember it well. Although it was not unexpected, I was devastated. I was newly pregnant with Brandon. (Also very sick and going through a pretty deep depression.) Bryan was traveling almost weekly. My girls were 4 and 2. And when I got the phone call that Papa was not expected to last through the night, I sat on the stairs and sobbed. Rebekah heard me crying and wandered over to find out what was wrong. I remember being so grateful that despite my tears and grief, I had no problem explaining to her what was happening and where Papa was going and that we would see him again someday.

I shepherded the two girls into the car, stopped to pick up Mary and Ryan, and then hightailed it to Provo to say our last goodbyes. I can still remember clearly Papa, even through the haze of medication and pain, going out of his way to verbally say goodbye to each person there. I don't think Rebekah and Julianne understood what he was saying, but I did.

I couldn't sleep very well that night. I tossed and turned until around 4:00 am when I finally, gratefully, fell into a peaceful sleep. I found out later that Papa died around 4:00 am. I wonder if somehow I felt him passing?

The funeral was on my birthday. Bryan was in Michigan. My sisters and parents pulled me aside after the service but before lunch to shower me with a few birthday gifts. How sweet of them to even be thinking of me on such a day.

I remember laughing with my cousins who had taken a day off from college to come to the funeral, about the very likelihood that Papa would be upset that they had skipped their classes. :) I think I've mentioned before that Papa put money in bonds and doled it out scholarship style when each grandchild arrived at college age so that we could each get an education. It was that important to him. It is because of he and my grandmother that I have a bachelors degree from the U of U.

Papa was such a big influence in my life. As my sister Katie said, "He has made long, lasting impressions on us all and will always be a part of who we are."
I love him. I miss him. Especially today.

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