Friday, December 6, 2013

A Thanksgiving of Remembrance

We are always most thankful around Thanksgiving time. This year was no different.  Ryan's family was celebrating Thanksgiving the friday after. My family was celebrating it the Saturday after.  So I volunteered to work on Thanksgiving day and then went home and started decorating for Christmas.
Friday morning we had a slow morning getting ready while the turkey, that we were bringing over to the Holguin Thanksgiving, baked in the oven .  We started packing the truck up with our stuff and while Ryan put the boys in the truck I received a phone call from my mom.  A phone call I never thought I would be getting. A phone call I never will forget.  "Grandpa has had a heart attack and the paramedics are working on him at his house but it doesn't look good"
We left for Ryan's parents house and I put on a smiling face. But my mind was somewhere else.  I don't know how much time went by, it couldn't have been more than an hour that I got another call from my mom saying Grandpa had gone to be with the Lord.
I don't know if it's harder to lose someone so suddenly and not have the chance to say goodbye, or to watch a loved one suffer a sickness long enough for you to see the end drawing near. Probably the latter, but never did I expect to have this Christmas approaching where my Grandpa wouldn't be there to celebrate with us.  I didn't get the chance to say goodbye.
We still got together with my family on Saturday and we were able to put aside our grieving and enjoy in our Thankgiving.  Ryan and I are soooo very thankful for these three turkeys (and the little bun in the oven)  

 We watched the boys play in the piles of leaves in my Dad's walnut grove.  Watching them play just made my Thankful. Thankful for family. Thankful for my Grandpa's life and his love for family.

The boys loved standing under the trees as the leaves fell.  Just a reminder that there are seasons in life as well. That losing loved ones is apart of life. But what a blessing it is to have the peace in knowing that the Lord has prepared a place for us to go when our time here on earth is done.

We celebrated my Grandpa's life today. What a hard day it was.

My Grandpa married my Grandma in October of 1980. Two years before I was born.  He has always been there. Always.  He was the best Grandpa I could have asked for.  When we moved to Visalia when I was 9 he still made every effort to be apart of my life as much as possible.  He has taken hundreds of trips over the grapevine for any and all kinds of events in my life.  I had just spoken to him on the phone a week prior about my pregnancy and how he was sooo looking forward to seeing my family at his house for Christmas.  Things just aren't going to be the same without him.   

My Grandpa was loved by so many.

He was buried on a hillside that over looks Pomona Valley.  You can see his old Truck Company yard from his grave and the hill that my Grandparents house is on.  He said he liked that spot because that way he could still keep an eye on things.  You see, my Grandpa always had a great sense of humor.  It was so nice hearing stories about him today and his life growing up.  Hearing from his children and grandchildren and seeing all his friends and family gather to support my Grandma was such a blessing.

10 out of 11 of his grandsons were lined up by his coffin (the man in the leather jacket was a worker from the funeral home) There are 15 grandchildren total.

From those 15 grandchildren come 17 great grandchildren.  There was a bouquet of roses displayed, each rose representing a great grandchild.  All of them living except Karissa. So she was represented with a pink rose.

My aunt said to me today that her husband (my uncle Karl who passed away from cancer only a few days after I had my triplets in 2011) and my Karissa started the party in heaven early and Grandpa was just now joining them.  What a day that will be when we can all be there together.

It's always hard saying goodbye to a loved one.  But I am so thankful for the memories I have of my Grandpa, for the love he had for my Grandma but I'm most thankful for the Love he had for the Lord.

 It was still a time of Thanksgiving. Just not as we had expected. My Grandpa went to be with the Lord the day after Thanksgiving 2013.  A day and A man I will remember for the rest of my days.

I love you Grandpa. I'll be seeing you.


  1. Well said. Awesome memories. Love you and your beautiful fam.

  2. That was so beautifully written. Thanks for sharing your family with us. I love reading your blog and seeing the pictures of your beautiful family. My daughter is expecting my very first grandbaby on May 7, just after your new baby is due. I'll get to read about them together!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family and much happiness in the New Year!

    1. Congratulations Diane! Thank you for your kind words! Best wishes to you and your family in the upcoming year.