I’ve been thinking recently about my Grandaddy. One of the greatest men to ever walk this planet. Growing up, he was my hero, my father figure and an inspiration in how to pattern my life. He was caring, honest and a man of integrity…..he was larger than life itself. To say that I miss him doesn’t and never will capture what my heart really feels. It would be like trying to compare a picture of the ocean to standing on the edge of the shore, looking out over that great vastness. That’s the best I can come up with to describe how I miss him.
I was not quite a month pregnant with Jeremiah when he passed away. It was that true moment of one life ending while another begins. I knew that I wanted to name Miah for him, but Brenden already carries his name, so trying to figure out how to do that was quite tricky. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Miah’s middle name would be Lee, in honor of both of my grandparents. My grandmother’s name is Laura, but Grandaddy used to call her LE-aura, and then a lot of the time just Lee. I can remember sitting at the table, having dinner and him yelling out “Hey, Lee!” I could think of no greater way to honor him than to call Jeremiah after his nickname for Mom. (that’s what we call my grandmother.) How I wish that he could have seen Miah, and that Miah could have known him.
There are people in your life, be it family members, friends, or influential “celebrities” that make deep impressions on you, that inspire you, that mentor you. My Grandaddy was this type of person. Just being around him made you want to strive to meet his expectations, to live up to his standards, and above all, to make him proud of you. He was warm, funny, amazing. He was Grandaddy.
I remember that last day. I had gone to see him in the hospital and sat and visited with him, told him how the boys were. Matthais was barely in school, the twins were not quite three years old. The last part of my visit and conversation replay over and over in my mind. I told him when it was time for me to go that I had to get back to Okeene because I was singing in church. I led the praise and worship at the time. He began to tell me of singing with his brothers and sisters on the river bank, and that when we got home, we were going to sing up a storm. Grandaddy never said we were “going home”….ever…it was always “Let’s head to the house”. In the back of my mind, I knew that would be the last time I would see him and talk to him. I pushed it down, because in my heart I didn’t want to believe that. I remember that was one of the greatest church services we had ever had. Most of all, I remember the pain when I was told he was gone. I remember, because I still feel it.
I wish he were here to know his amazing grandsons, to see the awesome musicians and young men they are. I wish he were here to see Matthias graduate this year. I wish he were able to put those father-like arms around me and let me know that no matter how stressful things get, they always get better. I wish I could just see him again. To hear his voice, his laugh and to sing with him HERE at the house, and not wait until we’re both “home”.
Grandaddy, I don’t know if it’s because you’re birthday is next week, or what it is that has me thinking of you so much right now and missing you so very much. But I know that I haven’t missed you so much in the past 11, (almost 12) years as I am missing you in this very moment. And I hope more than anything, that I have made you proud, that I have lived up to your standards and expectations. You were the greatest man I ever knew and I look so forward to when I will see you again. I love you Grandaddy!! ~Wessa~