An incredibly appropriate tribute to a man whose greatness I only fully realized during the last two days.
Here’s an excerpt from an email to Michele:
I’m doing ok… Tuesday evening and yesterday were really tough, but it was as good as it could have been. We got back from Bowman really late last night, and Daddy came back with us since he’s been down there for nearly a week. I think he’s planning to go back for a few more days to stay with my grandmother once all the extended family leaves town… I’m hoping that he’ll be able to make her rest a little. She’s been running on what has to be pure adrenaline for the past few days – hopefully, she’ll be able to relax a little once everybody leaves.
I think she’s still in shock – although my grandfather had been ill for years, and we all knew that it would eventually happen, it still hasn’t sunk in that he’s really gone. They had been married for 58 years – it’s so hard to imagine spending that many years with the same companion, and then losing them. One of the pastors at the funeral described their relationship as one of the greatest love stories that he’s ever seen, and that’s a completely accurate description, which was so apparent during the last few days.
Watching her, I realized why she’s been so focused on the details of everything – the funeral, viewing, obituary… because she wanted to make sure that he was fully honored and that everything was perfect for him to the very end. We talked with her about it for a long time last night before we left, and I think she was satisfied, and now she’ll hopefully be able to rest – it was a wonderful tribute to the man that my grandfather was.
It was kinda weird… I don’t think I’ve ever really realized what a truly great person he was until this week – over 500 people came to the viewing and service, and it seemed like each person had a wonderful story about something that he had done for them. I’ve always just seen him through my own perspective as my Granddaddy – it was amazing to realize the full scope of his life through everyone that he had touched through the years. It made me very proud to be his granddaughter…