My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Friday, March 30, 2012

Remembering Gramps

 In 1993, my big brother started dating Angie Beavers. To put it in time line perspective - I was pregnant with Austin at the time that Angie was introduced to our family. Bubba and Angie got married December 16, 1994 when Austin was 9 months old. From that point in time, our families have been somewhat blended. Once Sarabeth was born on October 14, 2002, the Beavers and the Gants have shared a mutual love for the same little girl... and then Jamie came along in December 2004 and the bond was strengthened. I have always treasured in my heart the fact that these girls that I love so deeply and completely are loved by so many people...

Yesterday, my girls lost one of those people who love them... when their grandpa, "Gramps"... my sweet sister-in-law's Angie's father. Our hearts are so just broken... not just for Angie in her loss of her daddy, not just for my girls for losing their Gramps... not just for "Aunt Mimi", Angie's sister Mandy, who, over the years has grown to be a dear, dear friend to me - we are the "crazy Aunts", the second-born siblings behind two amazing and over achieving first borns... and for Bubba, who lost a father-in-law, as has Mandy's husband Scott ... and for Mandy's daughter Hannah who was the first born grandchild and absolutely adored by her Gramps... and for "Grammy"... Trudy, Angie's mom, who has lost her husband of 42 years. My heart breaks for all the ones in the Beavers family who loved Gramps and whose lives will be forever changed by his absence.

But the Gant family grieves too, because in every joint celebration - births, birthdays, baptisms, etc... he has been a part of OUR lives and we, too, will miss Gramps. I had to really dig through my digital photo folders to find any pictures of Gramps... he's always sort of in the background... on the sidelines... but these photos are from Grammy and Gramps 40th wedding Anniversary in 2009... while they were cutting the cake. And right there in the middle is little Jamie - who is so much more grown now (and missing most of her front teeth). It's so hard to wrap my mind around the fact that Jamie's birthday party back in January was the last time that we will see Gramps in this life, although we believe that there is a life after death and we firmly believe that Gramps will be there, as a believer in Christ, and we know that we will be there too. We don't grieve as those who have no hope... but we definitely grieve our time apart from Gramps.

My favorite memory of Gramps was when Austin had bought a bb gun for himself with a gift card he got for Christmas. (nobody would have wanted to actually BUY Austin a bb gun for reasons that you can probably determine for yourselves!) We lived "in town" so it wasn't appropriate for him to shoot the gun at our house (although I later discovered he not only shot the gun AT our house but also IN our house... that's my Auggie!) so we took the opportunity of being at Jim and Angie's - which is way back in the woods, far from the main road... and Austin set up a little target area for himself with empty milk jugs and so forth... and was having a great time shooting his gun. I looked out of the window to check on him and make sure he wasn't aiming at squirrels or birds... and it was Gramps with the gun, having the time of his life. He had two daughters and then three granddaughters so he missed out on a lot of these "little boy" activities... but he was such a wonderful grandfather to girls... indulging them in lots of really awesome girly things... going with them to Disney World to see all the princesses. Gramps will be sorely missed.

Austin made it home safe and sound yesterday. I had texted him a few times to see when he planned to come home and each time he would say, "in just a little bit"... and finally I sent him a text and said, "do you need a ride?" and he did... and so I went into town to find him.... they had been just walking around town like a couple of vagrants. There was some major drama about a girl that Skeletor wants to date (although he's still married) and the girl is hesitant... as she should be. Austin was trying to explain to me how it's appropriate for his married friend to cheat on his pregnant wife because pregnant wife won't move out of her parents' house... and married friend doesn't want to live with his in-laws because they hate him and he doesn't feel comfortable... and honestly... if I'm the in-laws and this kid is staying up all night playing video games and sleeping all day while my pregnant daughter is working her butt off as a cashier (i.e. on her feet all day) I'm thinking I wouldn't be his biggest fan either. And kudos to the pregnant wife for having the smarts to not move out- and therefore end up supporting a do-nothing husband. Austin said, "well, she's been promising him for 3 years that she would move out" and I said, "Has (married friend) been promising for 3 years that he will get a job?" well, there you go. If they can walk all over town loitering... they can walk to a job. I'm jus' sayin'....

At any rate... Austin came home, took a shower, ate dinner and crashed. He's been asleep ever since.

Trouble the cat is so spoiled. He has this routine where he will sit on the arm of my chair (instead of on my chest) and I will tell him, "oh thank you for sitting in your spot... what a very nice kitty cat... my yikes him ayot... he's so pwetty... and he has pwetty hair... and such pwetty white socks...and so forth" and he is such a little creature of habit that if he assumes his position and I don't go through the entire routine of admiring him and petting him... he squawks until I do. He even holds out his paw for me to admire his little white "socks". I'm thinking that his love language is "words of affirmation".

 I trust God. I know that I will be ok. But... yikes. So... hoping that the pain doctor can provide samples of the meds I'm on and refills to carry me through for awhile so I don't have to come in. Technically, since I haven't met my deductible for this year, I'm paying for the office visit out of pocket and would have been... but I get the negotiated rate from my insurance company instead of the self-pay rates.

And... what else? Letsee... haven't heard from unemployment yet... have to buy Austin a decent shirt for the memorial service, which we think will be on Sunday, down near where mama and daddy live (on the southside of town) ... the burial will be up here as Grammy has a house up here and had ultimately intended to settle here eventually... daddy is going "over the mountain" to get Grandma today and she's going to spend some time with mama and daddy. My plan is to go to the southside on Sunday for the memorial service ad then spend the night at mama and daddy's so that I can go with daddy and Grandma on Monday to see her extended family in east Georgia. It's a lot of time on the road for me but I have to take advantage of these opportunities while I have free time... because when I'm working, working is literally all I can do. My back is extremely painful today... but, other than driving into civilization today, I don't have any obligations until Sunday. I'll hang tough on Sunday and Monday and then be able to rest and recover next week.

I can't believe I've been unemployed for two weeks. It is still so surreal. I miss my job and I miss my clients and co-workers but I don't miss the pain. As much as I hurt right now, I know I would be struggling to walk if I had the additional stress on my spine from sitting at my desk. Nothing in life happens by chance. God is with me.

Have a great weekend y'all! Happy Friday!