Me & Grandpa (No idea how old we were)
Today is my birthday-November 28th. (Though this will probably post after midnight so today will be yesterday by the time anyone is reading it.) My birthday has always been one of my favorite days, which I’m sure is a mutual feeling for everyone. I’m sure it’s not a coincidence that fall is my favorite season, November is my favorite month, and Thanksgiving my favorite holiday being that every few years my birthday falls on turkey day. (Although I do feel like eating great food without the pressure of buying great presents or making sure you’re overjoyed when opening gifts you don’t really need aka-Christmas is a huge plus for Thanksgiving.) My most favorite memories from my birthdays are that they were always shared with my Grandpa Sells. When I lived at home or later when I was close enough to go home I always got to sing our version of “Happy Birthday” with him which began “Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to me!” My grandpa would always sing the loudest and most enthusiastic and I can picture his grin as he pointed first to me and then to himself. We blew out candles together, but they were always set up to represent my birthday which was practical of course.
Me & Grandpa (I’m in high school?)
It’s been a couple years now since I’ve had my wonderful Papa to share the day with. He passed away about a week after his 80th birthday and my 29th. We used to joke that he was only one year older than me give or take fifty years. Last year I hid in the bathroom until I was done crying while missing him terribly. This year, I’m so thankful that I have so many fond memories of him. I feel like I’ve been thinking of him all month as I’ve been perusing his recipes and cooking some of his best known family dishes.
My wedding (age 20) Grandpa (age 71)
On the day Papa died I went into the bathroom and cried (not sure what it is with me and the bathroom, but with kids it’s hard to find places to hide where you can fall apart and not freak anybody out) and I wrote down this poem. We later added it to the back of the pamphlet that was handed out at his funeral. What I didn’t realize at the time was that it would bring me comfort long after I had written it. I found a copy I had saved last week and it made me smile to picture my grandfather being welcomed in heaven.
Our last birthday together
Heaven opened up it’s gates last night
and let our loved one in.
The angels all gathered around him
to listen to stories about where he’d been.
There’s never been a more attentive audience.
I’m sure they gathered ’round his knee;
all loved ones that had gone before him,
people he’d been longing to see.
His host had been patiently awaiting his arrival.
Preparations had all been made.
All of heaven had been invited,
and a feast elegantly displayed.
I’m sure he told them about his journey,
entertained them with a song or two.
The Great hall echoed with laughter,
his jokes always perfectly on cue.
And when he finally finished
I’m sure the Lord was so very proud,
He led the standing ovation
and called his name out loud.
So while we cannot imagine life without him,
and it pains us deeply to let him go,
God generously shared him with us a little while
and now Jesus is welcoming him home.
So rejoice my friends, rejoice!
Dry those selfish tears from your eyes.
Trust in the Lord God’s promises.
This is only a temporary goodbye.
Our heavy hearts should be lifted
realizing there’s no greater destination,
than to be in the arms of our Father,
for an eternal celebration.