Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Grandpa, we miss you

Today is the 3 year anniversary of the passing of my father-in-law. After W. is dismissed from school, the five of us are going to the cemetary. We try really hard to keep his memory alive with the kids. Displayed in their rooms, they each have a framed picture of themselves as babies sitting in his lap. T. and R. were so young when we lost him, only 13 months and 3 months respectively. W. was 5 and still remembers him well. I still get choked up when I think about breaking the news to W. that his grandpa had gone to heaven. Mr. Schmitty was with his mom, of course, so the job fell to me. W. was very close to his grandpa so I knew it wasn't going to be easy. One because of that closeness and two because he was so young and really didn't understand what death was. My father-in-law had a degenerative muscle disease that had been taking it's toll for quite a while. His last month or so of life had him in and out of the hospital where he just quickly deteriorated. It was very hard to witness for us. The kids though saw right past it, they just saw the grandpa they loved and were happy to visit him. W. did understand, however, that grandpa was very sick. My little trooper was my hero, he cried, but understood that grandpa wouldn't be hurting anymore.

W. keeps his grandpa in his heart and I've even heard him talking about him to T. and R. He saved a few momentos and has them in a box that he takes out once in a while. One of the items is a replica of a medal my father-in-law earned while serving in the army. We have a shadowbox which displays all of his medals in our home and W. said he wanted a particular one for his 6th birthday. I remember how his eyes lit up when he unwrapped the box.

So today when we visit to say our little prayers, T. and R. will bring with them the pictures they are coloring as I type this. W. told me this morning, as I held back tears, that he is going to write a note and read it at the grave. My little man, growing up so quickly.

One last thing we will do, before we spend the evening with my mother-in-law (the children make her feel better and help her deal with the sadness of the day) is leave three quarters on grandpa's headstone. He was a collector of coins and loved to give them to the kids. After he passed W. began finding coins on the ground everywhere he went. We told him that grandpa was still giving him coins like before and was sending them down from heaven. Now, when we visit we leave three coins, one from each child, for him.

Grandpa, we will always love and miss you!

1 comment:

Zephra said...

It is widely believed that the loved one who passed do sometimes leave coins as a way of saying they are still with us. I believe that is what he is doing. I prayed for my Grandma to send birds once and the next morning there were over 50 doves in my back yard. This had never happened before and I knew it was a sign from her. Although I did ask for red birds ;).

On another note. I was tickled to see this template. It was originally designed for me but I wanted a yellow background and something more along the lines of exhausted Mom so she made me another one. I am glad this one found a good home. It is so cute!