Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gone but not forgotten

I love this time of year.  To me seeing all the Halloween stuff out in stores gets me so excited.  It's not because I like Halloween (I detest it! and we don't have any part in celebrating it).  I get so excited because it means it is time to start decorating for Christmas.  Yes, you read that correctly.  We have already started putting up our outdoor Christmas displays and I've already been listening to some of my favorite Christmas songs.

This time of year also makes me think of my grandpa a lot.  I think of him often anyway, so many things around here remind me of him and bring back memories of him.  I miss him so much.  He LOVED Christmas.  He started this tradition of all these lights so many years ago.  I'm thankful he shared that love with me and my family helps me decorate every year.  I doubt they love it as much as I do but I so appreciate that they at least humor me, there is no way I could ever do it all myself.

One of my favorite moments but also a moment that brings me sadness took place while we were decorating one day the year before he passed away.  I was outside decorating and he was headed to the doctor.  He was so sick.  We knew this was going to be his last Christmas.  We had so much going on that year but it was more important than ever that we got the yard decorated up for him to see one last time.  As he drove by that day, he stopped for a few minutes and admired the yard and all this wonderful life he had built and I saw a tear roll down his face.  He was so proud.  Every time I think of that day, this decorating becomes so much more to me.  It isn't about the lights although they are so beautiful.  It's about the family pulling together to put together something great.  It is about this family that he brought together.

So much of what we do around here is based around family.  Our family is so close and we love to spend time together.  I can't help think how proud he would be of all of us.  He's been gone a few years now but I feel like he is still here sometimes.  His trailer was moved off our property this year (which was so sad, it's been there my whole life).  The things can go away but my memories are as strong as ever.

The other day my sister's friend was asked what it is like to eat dinner with our family (our family of 12-15 and sometimes all 20 of us, eats dinner together daily).  The friend compared our family dinner to the end scene of Duck Dynasty where they are all joined around the table.  I can't help but think how proud my grandpa would be of that comparison.  That is what he always wanted for his family to want to be together.  My grandpa so would have loved that show, he and Phil would be really great friends I think :)

I miss my grandpa so much but I'm so thankful for all the great memories I have of him.  I can't/don't want to imagine what my life would be like if it were not for him taking in my parents all those years ago.  I'm so thankful.  I'm so blessed.

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