Saturday, April 21, 2007

Little Things

I have a splitting headache - evidence of what this day has held. After Jackson's morning nap we drove out to Daddaw and Madelyn's house to be with my mom and whoever else had made their way over. When I pulled into the driveway I was served my first dollop of loss. Daddaw was always the first one out the door and you wouldn't have your seat belt off before he was standing there waving, ready to give you a kiss. There was no one today.

Inside, the house was still warm from his presence. The Scrabble board game and dictionary were off to the side of the kitchen table. One of his index cards with a Scripture written on it was laying next to a lamp. There was a note in his handwriting taped to the computer screen that said, "We are God's ambassadors." I love my grandpa's distinctive handwriting. It had gotten a little shaky lately but it still had that look.

There was a rose in a vase on the counter top. Madelyn told me he would cut a fresh flower for her every day from the garden and that he would act real sneaky while he was doing it. I guess he had cut that very one two days ago. I wondered if I should dry it for her.

I didn't look, but I felt sure that there was a jug of orange juice or a half-eaten sandwich still in the fridge that he had once enjoyed. Speaking of sandwiches, Daddaw was the ultimate sandwich maker. His Reuben's are famous.

The bar of soap next to the bathroom sink was smooth and worn down. I teared up washing my hands knowing that he had washed his own hands with that bar of soap. Silly, I know. But it seems profound to me right now. In a few days, after the whole fam damily (as it is affectionately called by my aunts and uncles) has descended on this house, these traces of my grandpa will be gone. Fresh fingerprints will be smudged, erased. Things he put here will be moved over there.

Mom and I had to load the car with his clothes, a box of medals from his army days, and a picture of him and Maddy to take to the funeral home tomorrow. When we got back to my mom's house, I began unloading the car. It was then that I saw his black shoes in the floor board. His shoes. The grief hit me between the eyes and said, Here, let's have a good cry. And a good cry it was. Only it left me with this splitting headache.

28 comments:

Shelly said...

Oh girl....you just go ahead and have a good cry. All you want to! I lost my Dad about 4 years ago (I was 20) from a heart attack. It is moments like this that I find a computer screen's form of communication so sad - I would rather be able to look someone in the face and let one sister's heart speak to another's... Holding you all dear in thought for this season. Because of Him.......

Military Mommy said...

All of the things that you mentioned about your Daddaw were precious. The sweet flower, his scrabble game and note, his shoes. What a blessing that you are able to see those things so clearly while, as you said, his warmth was still there.

And the biggest blessing of all - that you will see your precious daddaw again in heaven one day and get to bask in his warmth forever. I have a feeling all the things you mentioned, though so sweet and important here on earth, will not hold a candle to the communion you share with him there.

Hugging you and hurting right along,
Michelle

Trisha said...

What a wonderful, heartfelt post. Your wordws really touched my heart and made me feel even more thankful for all the great people in my life. Keeping you and your family in my prayers duting this difficult time!

Breathing His Joy said...

I remember those splitting headaches from when my grandma went to see her maker as she always said. May God continue to shower your mind with all the wonderful memories of your grandpa and know that you have sistas praying for you all over the place....

BooMama said...

Bless your sweet, tender heart...know that I will be praying for you today! I know he was so proud of you...and what a treasure your memories of him will be.

Panda-Mom said...

This post make me choke up at the thought how heartfelt it is. Your sweet emotions came through in your writing. Know that you are being lifted up to our heavenly Father and He is holding you and your family. Thanks for letting us know you and somehow be a part of this time with you. Blessings.

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

It sounds like your Daddaw was a "man amoung men." That's the sweetest thing I've ever heard...cutting a fresh rose everyday. He loved, and he did it well. What a great example and legacy he's left your family.

Kelly said...

Praying for your whole fam damily, Amanda. Your granfather just got to where he was going, amen? Yet those of us left behind miss them so much.

God of all comforts, be tangible to this precious sister today.

Annette said...

Whoa, Amanda. So hard to find mere words to put to the big things...

I saw you just sitting on the stairs last night and I so wanted to give you a big hug. I don't know you well enough and it was awkward, but it shouldn't have been. So today I try to write a virtual hug for you. I saw a familiar sadness I know from losing my own dear ones. You put it so well--those details, little things become precious as they are the tangible things we have to hold on to. I wished I had known him. He was impressive--the kind of man it is hard to say goodbye to. His military medals and all the commendations speak volumes of his character, and the tender rose cut just for Maddie each day--all so dear. Treasure those memories, and let Him hold you in the palm of His Hand. Love you, sweetie...Annette

The Sanders House said...

I love your grandpa and I have never met him. Hang on to those memories! I just told my mom yesterday that I still dream of those little things that mema did that impacted me so much. You are loved Amanda!

Kelly said...

I'm so sorry about the loss of your grandfather. He sounds like he left quite a legacy with your family. Keep all of those memories of him close to your heart!

Kelli said...

Bless your heart Amanda. I'm praying for you. Your words being it all back. 20 months is not too long.

Dori said...

Amanda,

I'm thinking of you and your Mom today. How sweet your thoughts of your Daddaw are! I thought of you this morning during church -- how incredible that this form of communication makes me feel like I am a personal friend. I looked for Travis after choir to have him deliver this message personally. Couldn't find him, so I just want you to know that you are in my prayers. Tell your Mom, too! We love you both so much!!

Blessings,
Dori

Beau and Melissa said...

Sweet sister, my heart cries with you and prays for you in understanding. I know the loss of a grandparent oh too well. Hold onto the thought of him dancing with the Lord and that you will see him again before long. Love you!

CrownLaidDown said...

Crying with you still...it was all I could think of during worship this morning...I wondered, can they even sing or are their throats so thick that they can't even voice a note. Know that the Smith's will continually pray thoughout the next days and months...I thought this morning that we're all marked with such times and we come out changed...Again praying for God to send a gift ya'll's way this week, be it a salvation for someone you've long prayed for or a renewed relationship that had gotten strained or whatever God sees fit to gift you with.

Love you much in Christ!
Holly

Jungle Mom said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Go ahead and cry it is ok to mourn. I am praying for you.

Debra said...

I am praying for you and also praising God that you have had these moments.

RealEstateGirl said...

Amanda, I'm just catching up on my "reading"...

I am so sorry for the loss of your grandfather. I recently lost my father (6 months ago), so I know the pain you are experiencing.

Your grandfather's legacy lives on in your mom, in you and in your children. That's how you keep him alive in your heart!

Praise the Lord he is with HIS Heavenly Father!

Big Mama said...

Bless your heart, Amanda. It is so hard to lose the people we love. I'm praying for y'all as you go through this time. Even though we know where our loved ones are, it's so hard to let go of them here on earth.

Janelle & Ella said...

I am so touched my these stories Amanda!! I sit here crying with you! What an incredible man he was! Just thinking about him greeting you at the door before you even got your seatbelt off has touched me. I know you guys were so close and your grief is so great right now!! I haven't stopped thinking about you all weekend! I love you so much!!

Jackie said...

Hey sweet girl, you are in my prayers. Loss is one of the sweetest things when you know they have gone to be with the Lord, but for us here, it is so painful because we are human, we are jealous and want them here with us.
I remember meeting your grandpa during Psalms of Ascents Bible study. I was sitting near the front and this sweet man behing me came up and started talking to me. We had talked for awhile before he said "I am Beth's dad." Then he went on about how proud he was of her and all his other kids. He then mentioned Jackson, how precious he was (you had brought him that night) and talked about you and Melissa. We must have visited for 10 minutes before Jennifer got up to start talking. A few weeks later, I saw him again at Bible study and he remembered my name and gave me a big hug. What a wonderful man... God radiated in him.
I am SO sorry for your loss...I am shedding many tears for you and your family. Never stop telling Jackson stories of him... he will always remember him through your stories. Hang in there Amanda, enjoy the time with your family, that alone is a blessing from God. I pray that God wraps his sweet arms around you, Jackson, Curt and the rest of your family tonight. Love ya- Jackie

courtney said...

Praying for you - love you.

Kelly said...

I'm so sorry. What a blessing a Godly man is to his family. The legacy he leaves behind is immeasurable, as you will share so much he gave you with Jackson.
I pray that God's peace and comfort will rain down on you as you go through this time with your family.

Kelly

Lucy said...

I know EXACTLY what you're saying. Yesterday was the 13th anniversary of my daddy's, stepmother's and 14 year old sister's deaths. They all three died in a carwreck on I-85 in LaGrange, GA. They hydroplaned, crossed the median into on-coming traffic and were hit head-on by a transfer truck. They were on their way from Panama City, Florida to Greenville, SC for my sister's wedding, which was to be the next day.

After the funeral my sisters and I had to go to Panama City to clean out their house and put it on the market. We were the first people to walk back in their house after they had walked out of it. Beside the kitchen sink was an empty coffee cup with my stepmother's lipstick on it. Their was a brush in my sister's bedroom with strands of her long blonde hair in it. The shirt my daddy had worn to work was in the dirty clothes hamper (no doubt my stepmother picked it up off the floor and put it in there for him :) I'm sure he didn't!) We took turns going from pillow to pillow and inhaling what was left of them. It was very bittersweet.

I praise God that He owned all three of them before they left this earth. My daddy just got saved in the last year of his life. Since then all three of my daddy's girls have received Christ and are loving Him with all their hearts.

Amy T said...

Let the tears and the memories flow. They bring their own healing. God Bless you and your family.

Little Birdies Mommie said...

I too am crying. After doing so many of your mother's studies is as if we're all part of your family. What awesome memories you have of him and how cool to think you'll see him again in heaven. God bless you all.

Angie said...

Amanda, my heart weeps with your family. There is nothing that I can say that hasn't already been said. You have a great many people that love you. This loss to you is heavens gain. Painful though it will be for a long time, the Lord will help you through these days. I pray for your family as the next few weeks pass. The Lord above is your strength, the God of your salvation will be your stronghold, your mighty tower. I have never met you, but because of the love of the Father in heaven, we can love those we have never met. And I do. Take care of your mom in this. Put your arms around her and tell her....assure her that prayers are going to the throne all over the world on her behalf! God is big! He's got her in the palm of His mighty hand!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. We know he is with our Father having the time of his eternal life.
Please know that you and your precious family have been and still are in our prayers.
God Bless you Amanda :)
Love,
Linda V. ~ Las Vegas
www.crossroadsmbc.org