Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My Papaw

The funeral home has been having a hard time getting the appropriate documents on Papaw Laymon. Apparently he had several spellings of his first name, SEVERAL middle names (of which we are still not sure which one was his correct middle name) and even a couple of birthdays roaming around assundry documents. Add it to the list of things southerner culture has in common with Indian culture…the details are optional.

I have so many thoughts on the life of my Papaw that I wanted to get down in writing, but I have to say that some of these were too “thick” and too personal for now, so I decided to divide up my thoughts into a few posts and share some sad, some sweet, and some funny. Sifting through these thoughts has really helped me to process...so consider yourself warned!

My grandparents were married for 58 years, since my Grandma was 14 years old! That’s a lot of years. I know his death will undoubtedly impact her the most. At his graveside on Friday, after the crowd had sifted away and only the immediate family was left, we gathered around Grandma. It was hard to be there. Hard to miss him. Hard to be with Grandma when she was so painfully alone. But it was sweet too. It was sweet to be with his offspring. The fruit that remained from his life here. His life was productive, and his legacy was us.

After the ceremony, as we all slowly trickled back to our cars…Grandma walked away so reluctantly. She kept saying, “I know it’s not him there, but it’s so hard to leave him.” And “It’s just a shell, but I cared for that shell for 60 years.” On the first cold cold day of the autumn season, it was hard to walk away and leave him alone there.

Even in the midst of all of the grief, there was still that peace that passed understanding. I’m not sure how people do it who believe that this is it…all you get. When it’s over here, it’s over. The hope of heaven and the reality that THIS life is just the shadow of real life is more than a comfort. It’s good to know that we will see him again. I guess the next obvious question is, “Are there shot guns and coon hunting in heaven?” Deep thoughts.


Tara said...

Just to comment on your last thought - that was a question I posed to my dad when they returned from Ohio on Saturday. His theory is there is no need to hunt in heaven and all those squirrels and coons that had the unfortunate luck of walking infront of Uncle Laymon probably met him at the gate and they all started laughing about the entire experience of Hunting with Laymon! Because according to those that hunted with him, it was an experience in SO many ways! :)

Michelle said...

It's good to see you up and blogging again. You are such a deep person, and I enjoy listening to your thoughts (I always have). He did leave his legacy, and what a legacy it is. Everyone has their memories of him, but it's more than that. He left an impact on everyone.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your Grandpa! I will pray for your family! I am sad i can't come see you! I got a friend coming in that week they leave to see me from CO...you remeber Steph Orange. I thought about driving up just for the day they are with you guys but i am not sure that would be so wise with little Eli... i havn't tried that long of a drive with him yet.
with love - Heidi

Wendy said...

I absolutely love the pictures!! I never realized how much your dad looks like Uncle Laymon! He was a very special man indeed who has left us alot of very special people!

Shanygne said...

I thought the same thing about your dad looking a lot like your grandpa... so handsome!

I was really blessed to have Emily as my distraction when my dad passed... life keeps going, even when we think it should stop for a while... I remember coming back to Texas and looking out the window, wondering how the world could just keep moving like that!
Keep remembering and keep processing...it's good for the soul.