Monday, December 17, 2012

My Papa

On December 11th at 6:35 my papa, the only grandfather I have ever known went to be with the Lord.  One of the hardest days in my life.  All of his loved ones stood with our hands on him, and we prayed as he took his last breath.  I think that is just how he would have wanted it. 

His body had been getting weaker and weaker the days leading up to his death.  He had dementia, and he was getting more confused everyday.  On Saturday December 1st he stopped breathing, and had to be rushed to the hospital.  After being admitted. and having tests run we learned that he had pneumonia, and fluid around his lungs and heart.  He would need surgery to remove the fluid, or he was going to die.  We knew the surgery was a risk with his age and condition, but we did not have a choice.  It was surgery, or watch him die a slow painful death.  We left it in God's hands and went forward with the surgery.  He told us he wanted the surgery.  He had a clear mind before surgery as we all told him how much we loved him, and he told us he loved us too.  That was the last time we would speak with him.

He made it through surgery successfully, but he was having trouble breathing on his own,so they left him on the ventilator. His surgery was on December 7th, and we were at the hospital around the clock from there on out.  He was doing really well, he would open his eyes when we would talk to him, he was responsive, and seemed to recognize us. I truly believe he was still with us until the day of his death.  On Tuesday the 11th they felt he was strong enough to come off of the ventilator.  We thought we would be taking him home soon.  My mom called, and asked if I could go to the hospital and sit with my grandmother while she went to pick Macy Kate up from school, and take her to my cousin.  I got to the hospital around 2:30, they had taken the vent out, and he was unable to breath on his own.  The doctors told us we did not have much time, and we needed to decide if we wanted to put him back on the ventilator.  The doctor said she felt like if we put him back on the vent, it would be the same thing when they tried to take him off again.  A vicious cycle, and his body was not getting any stronger.  My grandmother did not want to put him through that, and we all supported her decision whole heatedly.  It was his time to go, and his body was not strong enough to fight anymore.  I was so scared, and did not know what to do.  We asked him to fight until everyone could get there, and he did just that. He held on until everyone could get there, and tell him goodbye.  As morbid as it sounds talking about watching someone pass away, there was something so peaceful about it.  He was not in pain, and he slipped away in a little under three hours.  I am so thankful he held on, but it happened fast.  I am not sure I could have watched it go on any longer. 

He felt so strong about his faith, and I know without a shadow of a doubt where he is.  I had a wonderful relationship with him, while I know I will have my moments, I am at peace.  He lived a long amazing life.  He got to see me graduate college, get married, and have a baby.  There is not much more I could ask for.  He was not only alive for Hudson being born, but he knew him.  Right until the day before his surgery when I took Hudson to visit him.  He was such a special man that had such a positive impact on so many lives.  We knew that by the outpour of love and support we received.

I want to thank all of my friends and family that were so supportive in the days leading up and after his death.  I am not sure I would have been about to make it through this without you all. 

I knew before my papa had even passed that I wanted to speak at his funeral.  I knew it would be hard, and I wasn't sure I would even make it through it, but it was something I felt passionate about.  My grandfather had such a lasting impact on my life, and I wanted to tell people about it.  I come from a extremely close family, and I knew everyone would be able to relate to what I had to say.  When I say close, I mean we are even close with our extended family.  I knew just about everyone that came to the funeral, and I grew up spending time with them.  I hope that Hudson grows up with the same sense of closeness, and cherishes his entire family the way I do.  When something tragic happens, we stick together, and help each other through it.  Even though it was for a sad occasion it was so nice for us all to be together.  I managed to make it through my speech without losing control, and this is what I said about my papa:

First off I want to thank everyone for being here to celebrate the life of a wonderful man.

To most of you he was Jimmy, Jimmy Hugh, or Mr. Simpson. To me he was Papa, and I his little grandson.

Or so he told people.

I remember countless summers working with him in the garden, and cutting the grass. Nanny would say "if he took a step, I was two steps behind him"
That was usually followed up with watermelon by the well
He always put salt on his.

He always took me to the gas station
He would get tobacco, and I would get a sno cone.
He would always tell the clerk "this is my grandson ."

Then we would load up and head to the dump.
I will always cherish those rides in that little red truck. Most of the time I would Be asking a dozen questions, others we would sit in silence.
I loved watching him drive.

In fact, until I started learning how to drive I was certain you drove with two feet....because that's what papa did.

I always felt like I had a special bond with papa, but I think anyone who knew him felt that way.

He had the innate ability to make you feel like you were the only person in the world.

Time would never allow me to say all of the wonderful things about my papa, but the first thing that comes to mind is love.

Boy did that man love life., and it was infectious.

He loved his family more than anything, and he taught us all how to love.

He loved the lord. He taught me more about faith than I ever learned in a
church.

He loved freely and without prejudice

He was such a selfless man. He was a second father and grandfather to so many.

When Connie needed a kidney, he gave her his without a second thought.

We can all take comfort in knowing a little piece of him is still here with us.

I remember vividly standing in nanny and papas kitchen, and as serious as can be Ashley said " so when papa dies does that mean Connie's kidney will stop working?"

I'm happy to see everything is still working properly.

He was such a proud man. You rarely saw a hair out of place or a shirt un-tucked.

I feel so blessed to have had my papa for almost 30 years, and I got to be with him until his last breath
I can rejoice in the fact that he is looking down on us right now, free of pain, he is no longer confused, and you can bet your bottom dollar he is dancing.

This room full of people is a testament to the man he was.



I want to thank my papa for all of the wonderful memories I will cherish forever. I want to thank nanny too. Papa helped mold this family, but you are the glue that held it together.








That pretty much sums my papa up. He had such a beautiful service full of love.  It was a true celebration of his life, and I know he would have bee so proud of it.  I am going to honor him by being a better Christian.  I know I will have my moments, and the holidays will be really hard.  It is nothing compared to the pain the victims families of the Newtown, CT shooting are feeling.  I will continue to pray for their strength in the days to come.  I am not sure I will ever understand how something like this can happen, but I know there is a reason, and I will trust in God's plan.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lately

I feel like the last few weeks have gone by in such a whirlwind.  I was sick at the beginning of last week, and then my sweet papa had to have surgery on Friday to remove fluid from his lungs and heart.  Is is still in ICU, and breathing with a ventilator.  We are hoping and praying that he can pull through this.  Thank goodness I put my Christmas decorations up early this year, and I have been able to do a little shopping.  We have been spending a lot of our time at the hospital, and I have a feeling it will be like that for a while.  We did manage to take a break from reality and squeeze in a few holiday activities this weekend.  Normally we go to the Christmas parade in our little community, but it was Saturday during visiting hours at the hospital, so we decided to go to the parade in Mt. Juliet where my sister lives.  I LOVE Christmas parades that are held at night, I think there is something magical about all the floats lit up,  it reminds me of a movie.  We loaded the kids up,  soaked up the parade, and then headed back to my sisters house to make our annual time capsule ornaments.  I love this tradition we started last year, I was worried we wouldn't have time for it this year, but we made it a priority.  Our two cousins came over, and we had so much fun drinking wine, and spending time together.  We tried to take the kids to see Santa last night, but he was booked up for the night by the time we got there(popular guy.)  We are going to go back to the mall this week in hopes of seeing the big guy!  I am anxious to see how Hudson does with him.....pictures to come! 

Thank goodness Luke took care of me while I was sick.


This is a bad picture, but the kiddos at the parade.

Hudson and Maddie.....she looks evil.

Paw Paw giving Hudson a lift so he could see the parade.

This little girl was worn out afterwards.  She has
had her uncle Luke's heart since the day she was born.








 

Last years did not turn out as well, but look at the difference a year makes.



We are planning on taking the kids to see Christmas lights this weekend, and making cookies.  It is so much fun to start/continue Christmas traditions now that I have a child of my own.  Hudson is not as into it right now, but Macy Kate is at such a fun age.  I know Hudson and Maddie will be so much fun in the years to come.
 
 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I did it!

That's right folks, I completed my first 5K!  It sounds silly, but it may have been one of the proudest moments in my life.  I worked so hard training, and I was so worried I would let myself down.  Not only did I complete it, I ran the ENTIRE time.  Now it was not fast, and there were times it was questionable if I was actually running, but my legs kept moving.  When we started out we immediately went up a hill.  I don't know if it was the hill, or my nervous/anxiety, but I thought I was having a heart attack.  I trained outside, in a neighborhood full of hills, so I think it was the nerves.  I thought I was going to have to stop, because my breathing was so rapid, and my heart was beating out of my chest....not even a quarter mile in.  I finally talked myself down, started to calm, and set a good pace.  I ran by people, people ran by me, but I never let it discourage me.  I just listened to my music and enjoyed the scenery.  I had to dig deeper than I ever had by the end, because I was running out of gas.  I said I wouldn't focus on my time, but I DID have a time in mind.  I was hoping for around 35 minutes, so there was just a tinge of disappointment when I saw exactly 37 minutes when I crossed the finish line.  I also felt pretty proud considering the longest I have ever ran is 30 minutes.  I am so happy that I pushed myself so hard to do this, and have such a passion for running.  I also felt completely justified over indulging later that day.  I plan on taking the month of December working on my pace, and I am going straight into training for a 10K.  Thanks so much to all of my Friends and family for the love and support, especially Luke.  He watches Hudson everyday while I run, and he was there cheering me on for my first race.  Sadly the race pictures are the only ones taken on Thanksgiving day.




My sister and her family did the family fun run.  She WILL be running it with me next year :)

My sister in law (who is a BA runner)

Our "team"  Allie and my uncle Jake.  They both finished in less than 30 minutes.



After the race-notice the red face?

I did take a few other pictures that day.  My celebratory drink :)

Loaded up ready to head to Nana and Paw Paws.


I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving this year.  My family had so much to be thankful for , and I am so happy we were all able to be together.  This post took me so long, because I was holding out on blogger wanting me to PAY to add more photos....geez!