Thursday, September 9, 2010

Remembering Carl Perry (April 1920--September 2010)

My heart aches today, flitting between the dreary and the divine--an overcast day and an overcast soul, but glory-tipped clouds fill the sky with the hope of eternity.  My grand-daddy will never come back, Pa-Pa, as we called him.  I tried to work today, but my dear boss and co-workers sent me home, a mess of tears and indecision.  I drove to Starbucks to clear my mind with a chocolate smoothie and my journal at hand.  Calls and emails to comfort me leave me still aching.  I can never hold him again, and tell him what an incredible legacy he left for us all to reflect on.  He wouldn't have believed us if we told him, never thinking a proud thought of himself.  My world will be different starting today...and not just because he died...but because he really LIVED, and I am left to think on just how he spent the roughly 33,000 days he was given.  What will I fill my days with?  I hope I can spend them as well as you did, Pa-Pa.  Arriving home, I tried to manage my sorrow by fiddling with a picture of him, but watched as it crashed to the floor, reminding me of life's frailty.  Below are my journal thoughts on Pa-Pa.
"What a man.  Humble.  Faithful. So kind.  I can't think of one cross word ever coming out of his mouth.  He was so gentle and loving towards his wife, my Ma-Ma.  I wish I could see his redeemed face and who he is in heaven, what he is busy doing.  He is probably telling jokes to Abraham and Moses, or quietly walking down a garden path with Jesus.  I imagine he may have already made some fried eggs and corn bread for whoever is coming over.  Heaven now has the blessing we had for 90 years.  He saw so much life--the hardships of coming of age during the Depression, serving in WWII, and faithfully raising 5 kids, beef cattle, and lots of veggies.  I wish I could hear another of his many stories, laugh at a joke, or hear him worry over me, and offer his prayers.  There was nothing like a visit to 'the farm' to get my thinking straight.  "Why are you all the way out there in Colo-ray-do?", he'd wonder out loud. He believed in me, loved me unconditionally, and gave to me so generously.  Living a godly life wasn't something he read about, it was in his bones--he lived and breathed it.  Always time for another story--I never felt like I was interrupting him.  I only wish I would have done it more--asked his advice on more things, shared more hugs & guitar songs, or learned from his humility sooner.  Nothing can replace this hole he leaves--but God can help me carry on a small piece of who he was.  Oh Jesus, thank you for the strength, love, and stability You brought to my life, by the presence and example of this man, my next-door neighbor.  Help us to carry on with humble grace, reflecting You, and Pa-Pa.  I hope I can get a seat at the funeral.

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