Two years have passed since Peepaw passed away. I remember the day in 2005 well. We traveled to see him that morning in the hospital and took some Christmas decorations as well to brighten his room. Caleb helped me decorate a tiny tree for him. I remember the nurses telling my Mom the doctor wanted them to talk next week about setting up hospice care. I remember walking out the door and turning back to look at Peepaw one more time and tell him I loved him. I guess I always knew he was near the end of his earthly life. We went back to my Mom's house that afternoon. In the evening JMP and I went to eat. I remember getting out of the car and needing to cry. The restaurant was next to the place where Peepaw had worked when I was a child. As I got out of the car I smelled the production plant that I always associated with him... the "Peepaw smell." We dropped off a Christmas gift for a friend. On the way back to my Mom's she called us and asked us to come. I knew then and started praying for her to be okay. My aunt had called that she had received the news from the hospital Peepaw had passed away that evening. I remember the sobs coming from my body that night. I thought I'd never stop crying. Caleb had been with Gramma when she received the news of the loss of her Dad. I feel he offered comfort in his own way as a little toddler that night. He was a comfort to us all with his hugs and smiles. I was glad Caleb had been there when she got the call.
I really cannot believe two years have passed. We've been through all of the "firsts" without Peepaw, but we all still miss him. I know he would be so proud of Caleb. I think back to Caleb's baby days and how Peepaw was there when he was born. I have a video of Caleb in the nursery at the hospital as they were weighing and bathing him. Peepaw's voice is in the background and I love to play it to hear his voice. We have a picture of the four of us on the day Caleb was born....I'm in the hospital bed and Peepaw's holding my hand. I love that picture. I'm so thankful Caleb recognizes pictures of Peepaw. I feel it must be awfully confusing for his little mind though because we still talk about Peepaw but don't see him now. When we were making ornaments this year, I asked Caleb who will this one be for? He said for Peepaw. I'm happy he has not forgotten.
Last year on the first anniversary we took a small (table decoration size) tree to the cemetery. I found another one this year to take.
There are many, many families I know going through this as the first Christmas without a loved one. It's hard. It hurts. We always miss them but the holidays seems more difficult I think. We always remember and have that missing spot in our hearts. If you know someone who has lost a loved one this past year, let them know you are thinking of them. Encourage them with your prayers. Be there for them as they remember and grieve. Make a contribution to a charity in memory of their loved one. Send a note to let them know their loved one has not been forgotten. Do something to show you care.
"I will lift up my eyes to the hills--where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord,, the Maker of heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1, 2