June 11, 2012.
It was a Monday. Family was gathered. Quiet discussions and stories. Songs.
Then, it happened:
I think Papa stopped breathing.
I calmly turned from the computer to stare at my Father-In-Law’s chest in the hospital bed next to me. Yes. Papa’s suffering was over. He was gone.
Well, physically gone. Since that time, Papa has been thought about and mentioned on a daily basis.
What did Papa always say?
Whenever someone in the family finds themselves ill prepared for something, that is what they are asked. Papa was always the first person to say that you need to be prepared for anything. At a family dinner, putting food on your plate? You will hear someone ask that, too. Papa told you that “If you go home hungry, it’s your own fault”.
Papa loved to watch Steinfeld. Yes, yes – no matter how much you told him it was Seinfeld, it was Steinfeld. He had the whole series.
Our stories go on and on. He is ever alive in our homes because we keep it that way. In the days, months, and years since his death, I get many signs from him. People weigh in differently on this matter, but frankly I don’t care. I see it this way – if it brings me comfort and makes me smile and think of him, then that is all that matters. I have experienced things that leave it impossible to convince me that he isn’t with us.
My nieces post remembrances each year on this date as well as his birthday. Their hearts ache for the man that was such an integral part of their lives. Grandma is a rock. She is reminded daily that her life is forever changed and yet she remains our constant pillar of strength. Fortunately, she has a lot to look forward to and be grateful for – our family is growing!
In the past 7 years, our family has changed a lot. Some good, some not so much, but that’s family. We have welcomed 2 new spouses, a great grandchild last year and one coming this summer! We’ve lost 2 furry friends, including Papa’s Rusty.
Papa is ever present. I know that he is witnessing all that is going on. From the songs to the butterflies, he lets us know that he is with us.
Few things have moved me enough to write a blog post lately – I’m still figuring things out since my mom’s death 5 years ago. Papa was a special person in my life and I’m always reminded of him. Sadly, I realize there is only one or two photos that the two of us are in together and none truly “together”. It’s OK, though – I talk to him all the time and sharing stories with the family mean so much more than any photo could.
Until we meet again…