Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sadness and Joy

Six years ago today, we sat with family at the hospital to say goodbye to my Grandpa.

It was just three weeks after he met the great-grandson named after him. (Garrett's name is a combination of Gary, his dad and grandpa, and Everett, my grandpa.)

I hate that my memories of that day are fading. I want to remember what I said to him that morning and whose hand it was he squeezed. I think the squeeze came after Aly was mentioned.

But really, those are not the memories I want to keep.

I remember riding in his brown pick-up truck. I remember the combines, the corn, the cats...I remember the farm. I remember the popcorn bowls we used when we slept over night. I remember the comb he always had in his shirt pocket. The one he always let us use to comb the hair on his arms. I remember the appetizing doggie boxes he took home every time we went out to eat. I remember laughing a lot.

I remember him singing "Mr. Johnny Verbeck" and "one night, as I lay on my pillow, one night as I lay on my bed, I stuck my feet out the window and in the morning my neighbors were dead." I remember Christmas Eves and I remember the miniature candy bars hidden everywhere on Easter Sunday. I remember finding some candy bars on Christmas Eve left over from Easter Sunday! I remember laughing a lot.

I remember him walking into our house with green tongue on St. Patrick's day. I remember him taking his teeth out. I don't remember if he did that to scare us or make us laugh. I remember when he got a perm!?! I remember checking every phone booth for change and him opening up his door at toll booths, for more change. I remember White Sox games. I remember laughing a lot.

I remember each time he met a new grand baby. I remember him and Aly serving the cat "tea" in the high chair. I remember him laughing a lot. I remember him.

This is the poem I wrote six years ago for his funeral service.

Sadness and Joy

We have sadness,
for we'll miss his hug,
his handshake,
his always smiling face.

But he has joy
for he's face to face
with his Father in heaven
where Jesus has prepared him a place.

We have sadness
for we'll miss him when we gather
wishing he were there again
with his laughter and his cheer.

But he has joy
for he's gathering in heaven
praising and worshipping God
with loved ones he held dear.

We have sadness
for we'll miss all of his visits
he was always on the go.

But he has joy
for he's still traveling
but now it's on streets of gold.

We have sadness
for we miss him as we look back
and reflect on the life he had.

But he has joy
for he can see the reflection
from the sea of glass
as he walks with Jesus, he will never be sad.

We have sadness
for we'll miss his prescence in our daily lives
and selfishly wish that he could stay.

But we can have joy
for if we accept
the gift God wants to give
we will be with him again one day!

September 21, 2002