Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Best Friend, Poppa

These past twelve months have been a whirlwind of emotions for me. I have been at my lowest point and my highest - peaks and valleys people, peaks and valleys. Here is a timeline of sorts...

October 2012 - We found out we were pregnant! Peak! 

November 2012 - Told our families about our pregnancy - Peak! 
                           - TJ goes to Egypt on a Mission Trip - Peak! 

December 2012 - Told our Church Family and everyone else about our pregnancy - Peak!
                           - Christmas - Peak!
                           - 3 days after Christmas while on a Youth retreat with our church, my precious Granny passes away (not entirely unexpected but unexpected...) - Valley.

January 2013 - Passion with the older high school kids and college students - Peak! 
                      - First time in my life that I ever get the flu - I am not a "sick person", I'm never sick! I was pregnant and had the blasted flu and I couldn't take anything but tylenol! I was a mess... - Valley.

February 2013 - My amniotic fluid levels are low - so low that they thought something was wrong and I had to go to UAB for a "super special ultrasound" - Valley.

March 2013 - TJ is working on a house for church family and a tree falls on his truck and totals it - it was very close to the house and TJ was right where it would have fallen if it had just moved over a bit - Peak because TJ was perfectly fine - Valley because the truck had been paid off and we only had liability on it...

April 2013 - Out of left field my Granddaddy passes away... Valley.

May 2013 - Our house was broken into and trashed - Valley. 

June 2013 - A great month! We were so thankful for that month! Peak! 

July 2013 - LP makes her debut!!!!!!!!!!!! PEAK!!!!
                 - We did have a few nights with LP that I didn't think we'd make it to the next day... Anyone that has ever had a newborn for an extended period of time knows exactly what I mean! Tiny Valley.

August 2013 - Adjusting to LP and being a family of 3 and becoming a stay-at-home mom - Peak! 

September 2013 - My best friend, my role model, my sweet and wonderful and beautiful Poppa passed away... Valley.

He was and is without a doubt the best man I know. I loved him so much and I know he is so joyful right now - he is in Heaven with Jesus. I know you can't "know" a person's salvation for sure but you can judge their fruit. And to judge his fruit you can see the evidence of his love and faithfulness to Christ. He exhibited every Fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patient, kindness, gentleness and self-control. He loved his Jesus, his wife, his kids, grandkids and great-grandkids fiercely. I never, ever, not once saw him lose his temper or patience with anyone. 

I got to spend "special time" with him and Granny before I started school. I loved that time and will cherish it always. They kept me while Mom and Dad worked and Rikki was in school, so it was just me, Pop and Granny. Every morning he would meet us at the end of Antioch Road on Highway 82 in the blue car to pick me up on Mom's way to work and drop Rikki off for school. Every morning he'd ask me what I wanted for breakfast and it was always scrambled eggs with grape jelly and every morning that's exactly what I had. Pop taught me how to read by reading to me everyday and multiple times a day too - I learned by memorizing what he said and eventually matching up the words to what he was saying. He took me on four-wheeler rides to see the sandcastles on the dirt road and through the woods. I rode in a box attached to the front that he built for me - it was not the safest thing in the world but of well, we had the most fun. Poppa also let me "help" him cut grass. I helped him work in the garden, he always teased me that he needed a picture of me to put in the garden to scare away the crows (he was so silly - he called Granny "Old Woman", "Old Crow" and teased us so much - he would tell Morgan and Megan that the coyotes would come through the window and get them)! Granny and Pop had a beautiful collie named Sam that I loved playing with - I was there when Sam died and I helped Pop bury him. He always took me with him to visit friends and take Aunt Nettie Faye dinner and supper. After I started school I would get off the bus there and Rikki and I would watch "Darkwing Duck" and eat scrambled eggs for an after-school snack. You can't beat a good scrambled egg! When Antioch Baptist would have their VBS, Rikki and I would go and stay the whole week with Granny and Pop. It was the best - Rikki slept with Granny and I slept with Poppa. They had separate bedrooms, old-school... I loved playing in the closets at their house too. They had piles of clothes and stuff in them and I imagined they were mountains. I also have this vivid memory of the beach trip we took when I was about three years old - Mom, Dad, Rikki, Pop, Granny and I went to the Beach Club for a vacation. Granny and Poppa loved the beach! We were all walking out to the beach one day on the boardwalk and I fell and broke my leg skinned my knee and Poppa healed the broken leg with his handkerchief... It was magic y'all. I have a picture of me and Pop on the beach with that magical, healing handkerchief. When I get back to Lawley and find it I'll attach it to the post.

There are so many countless memories I have of Granny and Poppa and I'm so very thankful for each and every one. I know I am blessed to have had them in my life for 26 years; I know most people don't get that privilege of having grandparents for a long time. And I've known 3 great-grandparents and 5 grandparents and remember special moments with everyone of them. My heart still aches for the loss of my grandparents though; its a joyful ache but an ache nonetheless. Granny and Granddaddy knew LP was coming and Poppa got to meet and hold her several times. I am so thankful... so thankful. I hope LP gets the good traits from my grandparents - Granny's love for life and love for a good shopping day/dinner out to eat and devotion to Christ and her husband; Granddaddy's hard, honest work ethic and quiet, humble love for Christ; Poppa's gentle spirit and his love for his darling wife and children and egg-scrambling ability; Nana's love for making a home and working hard to keep it up and her amazing cooking skills and her ability to not care what people say or think about her - Christ's opinion is the only one that matters; and Clay's love for story-telling and laughter. 

Jesus is my Rock and my Salvation. He is close to the broken-hearted and hears our prayers. He loves me unconditionally and without Him I would have been lost in all the valleys. I know "what-if" statements can be silly but what if my hope had been in something/someone else during those valleys? Would LP have made it if I had put my faith in fallen man or silly idols? Maybe... (And this is strictly all about my personal situation and not in anyway a reflection of any person who has had hard times and lost a baby or loved one or anything - God's will for our life is ultimate and supreme but also mysterious - I can not fathom His plans for His children. We just need to trust Him). 

Again I will say that I am thankful, so very thankful for Christ and His guiding hand on my life. And I am thankful for my Poppa and his legacy - he was great but only because he chose to let Jesus live through him and be light and salt in this world. 

This is my broken leg picture! :) 

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