So just to let anyone know....our trip to Missouri went well! We arrived VERY early this morning and have really enjoyed visiting with family. I am seriously in love with these people. :)
But I feel like I am behind on visiting my blogging buddies so don't feel like I am ignoring you! We are just busy with family and the upcoming Memorial Service for Grandpa on Saturday.
Kind of strange. I didn't know Grandpa Cantrell very well. We were able to spend some good time with him last Christmas and that was good-he loved getting to know his great-grandkids!
I had only ever spent time with him one time before that, when Chase graduated from college. So really, I know very very little about him which is too bad. It is strange to be in his house without him. Even though I have never been here before so I shouldn't know how it feels to be without him, I can feel it. I can hear his voice. He had the greatest had this amazing, deep quality to it. He tended to remind me of James Garner, I don't know if anyone else would see that or not...
But he had such a presence-just one of those people I guess. And even at Christmas when you could tell he was having a hard time with the cancer and all the treatments that entails-he was enjoying life. Loving his family, cracking jokes and being an integral part of the family! We miss you Grandpa. :) It brings so much peace and comfort to know we will see you again and there we will REALLY be living! :)
Alot of being here has also reminded me of losing my dad and the random things that went into preparing for his memorial service and dealing with his death: yard work, poster making, talking to family members, etc.
Our situation was a little different-it wasn't as mournful a time as you might think. But it was still hard. And on our stop in Colorado yesterday we actually drove by the spot next to the highway where he died. Pretty strange.
With dad, it was so strange...we didn't know what to feel. I was the only one in the family who cried...and I think that was just because I hadn't lived with him for the past three years-truly.
We sat at the Memorial service feeling angry and betrayed...and relieved. How sad to be relieved at the funeral of a parent! Yet we were. We were so lost...
My great-grandpa died a year and a half ago. Grandpa Joe is what we called him. :) I had no idea how badly I would miss him when he was gone. We had known for awhile he would be going home soon. The man was 93 for pete's sake! :) He was dealing with Parkinson's and dementia. He had this great mid-west accent and called me "Gina Mae." He was SO handsome. I love the pictures of he and Grandma in the 40's. They are so adorable.
I went out to visit my Grandma after he died. We thought that it would be good for her to spend some time with the GREAT-GREAT grandkids for a few days after the funeral. It did help her and lifted her spirits, but you can't be married to someone for 70+ years (!!!!!) and just transition to him not being there anymore. She has pretty much stopped talking about him, I think because it hurts so much that he is gone. She has aged a lot in the last year.
Grandpa died about the time that Van was born and I found myself having some post-partum issues which I hadn't experienced with the other two. I even went to my OB/GYN and got a prescription for anti-depressants. I think I took one. I wasn't having suicidal thoughts or any kind of harmful anything going on, I was just really really down and couldn't figure out what my problem was. So I finally (!!!) asked God about it and He kinda reminded me that I was in fact mourning and didn't realize it. God helped me sort through my issues and I realized that Grandpa Joe was one of my safe places. He and Grandma were there and they were safe. Their house was around the corner from the Christian school I went to through highschool and we often were over there, eating them out of house and home, just hanging out or visiting. They were safe. We stayed at their house many many times and would go over there as much as possible-especially if dad was home. And Grandpa Joe was a safe man. That was definitely not the norm in my situation. I took him and Grandma for granted. But I knew how much they loved us and worried about us and prayed for us and did everything they could for us. But somehow it wasn't until he was gone that I realized what a place he had in my life.
On his 90th birthday, people wrote down memories of him and sent them to him to help him remember his life and also to document his life for the rest of us. I finally got to read it on that trip I took for Grandma. It was amazing, I had no idea! I knew he was a mechanic and a well-respected one. But I didn't realize to what extent. People shared stories of the Depression and him inviting people to come eat with them when they themselves had next to nothing on the table. He would repair cars and expect nothing in return and take no payment if a family was (and about all of them were) in financial straits. People talked about him sharing Christ with them and being the most generous man they knew. And he still took care of his family. As a family they had been through tough times...they had lost a baby and usually had very little to live on. But he loved his family and adored his wife. He did what he needed to do to take care of them. Just amazing. I hope his great great grandson takes after him in these ways. :)
I miss him. :)

I guess the point of this amazingly and unexpectedly long post is that I don't want my kids to be lost. Lost because of how my life affected them negatively while I lived here, or lost because I am not here anymore and they don't know how to live life just them and God. I want my kids to have faith. To know that they are God's and He has a plan and that even when we don't understand and it hurts that He is all we need and He can give us strength and will to function and even better-glorify Him.
It is so nice to be not-so-lost anymore! I still miss these men and will continue to, but I want to live looking forward and praying that someday when I run into them in heaven that I have great reports for them about their grandkids and families, and what miraculous things God has done in my life. :)
God gives us so much grace. :)

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  1. Gina, You are a special and gracious child of our Lord and we are so happy you are a part of our family!! Love you! Gpa & Gma W.

  2. God bless you and your family as you gather to remember and say good-byes. May God show Himself strong and may your gathering and remembering bring Him glory.

    God bless your heart and may He minister His love to those hurting places.

    When you get a chance...pop by...we made our adoption announcement!!

    mama to 7
    one homemade and 6 adopted


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