Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ready or Not- Here I am...

Let's take another stroll down memory lane... I've spent many hours over the past few days with Kleenex in hand.


At 3pm, the phone rang and I was told by my Momar (Betty) that Papa had fallen. They were at the E.R. I normally wouldn't have left work but something in her voice told me this was different. Boy was it ever. I left my office and rushed to be with my family. I remember after hearing what had happened and talking to the doctors and nurses that this was like nothing we had ever faced before. I walked into the hallway and called my Dad about a million and half times (really probably two) or though it seemed before he was able to answer. I knew he needed to be here. I knew he wanted to be with his siblings and his Daddy.

There was nothing that could be done for my Papa's hip. It was broken. Shattered. Cancer had taken over. Arrangements were made for hospice to pull 24 hour shifts. A hospital bed was brought to their house but he was going home. He would have trouble getting out of bed but things were possible.

I remember feeling like anything was possible. I didn't yet realize that I was the loser in the "Hide and Seek" game I had played with my grandfather's death. Any insider in our family can testify that many times we had felt that death was knocking and that we beat death. It comes as no surprise that I had such great hope that we would overcome this too. I wanted him selfishly to live for about 200 years. Who am I kidding? Can't we all live for 200 years?

Our family gathered at the Beck house on Tennessee Street that night. Friends came. Hopsice came. A hospital bed came.

I went home believing God that anything was possible yet beginning to grasp what was actually happening.


I went to work in usual fashion and in the afternoon headed to see our specialist or the ob, I can't even remember. We learned, our boy was now a GIRL. Who knew! HAH! Brian said to me, "she will be your "sweetie pie". A nickname my Papa had given all of his girls. Yes, she is my sweetie pie.

By the time I got back to my grandparents house that night, everything had changed. We knew the fight we were fighting was an uphill battle. But you know, if I could time travel, I'd go back to that night. I'd go back to any night for just one more. One more anything.

It became my mission in life that I needed him to know I was having a girl. I laid my head on his bed and I said, "Papa, can you hear me? It's a girl!" He replied, "I hear you Sweetie Pie. It's a girl." 

I don't know why it was so important that he hear me tell him that our baby was a girl. I have full confidence that when he got to Heaven God said, "Grady, don't worry about your family. I'm sending them a chunk of girl to lighten their burden." Thus he would've known even if I hadn't told him.

The next few days, we rallied as a family. We prayed over him. We laughed. We cried.

We waited. God was ready. He wanted his Saint with him. It was time. But He gave us many more sweet memories that week.

As I prepare myself for the dedication of my daughter on Sunday, I think how proud Papa would be of his family. We are close. We are everything he would want us to be. We are taking great care of Betty. And we are pressing on- even on days we'd rather lay in bed.

Brian said last night that he can't imagine what we all go through knowing how crazy we were about him. And I smiled and said, "I get to do this again. 3 more times." I am blessed. I was born into a family that despite my massive faults have been crazy about me. I have lived near my grandparents my whole life. And I wouldn't have it any other way. God has been good to me.

I'm thankful that even through the tears and heartache that I know His goodness. His peace. His power. Ready or not- when death finally came- God was there. God came Near.