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.