I am so exhausted---I am in a heap---but I have to tell this story. ALL TRUE--the entire tale will take at least a couple of chapters in the book I will never get written, but here it is:
My father in law and the grandfather and great grandfather of my children and greats left us today. It has been a very brief-but powerful ending after 90 years to one who definitely fought the good fight. I will be honest with you, Pappaw was never my favorite---but Nannie was instead--BUT I never questioned his faith or where he stood--he quite frequently let me know in no uncertain terms.
Pappaw has been progressively declining for about 2 years, and I have spent MANY an hour with him during his decline. I have heard his stories SO MANY times that I can repeat them verbatim myself. He was quite the man---but above all he was a man of God and NOONE ever questioned that about him. God is smiling at him at this very moment because there was never a question and he boldly proclaimed where he stood with the gospel story.
I can best explain the depth of my respect for he and Nannie by telling you this. I left Friday AM after determining that he was no worse and headed for Fort Worth to be with the kids and grands. I did not plan to leave if the prognosis was bad, but all seemed stable. After driving for 4 hours, I got a text from my SIL that they did not expect him to live more than 24 more hours. I drove on to Fort Worth while trying to decide what to do. I went in Camille's house and ate a PB sandwich and drank some water. I then told her I had to go back after a 20 minute visit and started the 4 1/2 hour drive back. By the time I arrived home--I could have given the traffic report for I-20 east bound or west. I KNEW I had to be with them.
The next 2 days are a blur of singing hymns, reading scripture, telling Pappaw stories and generally just being by the side of two very influential and loved people in my life. It was a sweet time that I am SO glad I was able to participate in.
Today came the final chapter. Pappaw's breathing became more laborious and it was evident the time was drawing near. It was quiet and peaceful, but you never know the exact moment on these occasions. When it was evident that we were near the end, I came home to stay with Camille's children so she could tell her grandfather goodbye. Gabe was in attendance and not leaving the room.
After Camille came home and I sped back to be with them all, Pappaw spotted Jesus and left us all before I could get back. His wife of 69 years, his two daughters and grandson,my son were in the room with him. He had spent the past 2 days starring into space with no evidence of any recognition and laboriously working to breathe. They reported that all of a sudden his eyes once again opened wide and he had a smile on his face from ear to ear and then he was gone.
HE HAD SEEN JESUS AND WENT TO BE WITH HIM! Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow! "Well done, good and faithful servant!" I'll miss you, Pappaw!