Monday, November 2, 2009

BIG HUGS! and a Giveaway

I don't even know what to say. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart for all your love, prayers, support, and hugs! I have been counting you all among my abundance of blessings the past few days. I cannot even tell you in words just how much it meant to me. I tried to respond to each and every one of your comments to extend my thanks. I could not reply to all as some do not accept replies. So to those of you I could not respond to directly, thank you thank you thank you. I am overwhelmed with all your support!

Grandpa passed Friday evening. I could not be there as I had to be home with the kids. The hospital was asking healthy kids to stay away due to the H1N1. I don't think CuddleBug would have handled it well anyway. But I was home with them so that DH could be at the hospital with his grandfather and his family.

I can say that the time I did get to spend in the hospital with Grandpa was incredible! It really makes you think about your life and your priorities and what you want for yourself when you are living out your last moments. Grandpa's very best friend, Sister Suzanne (a wonderful nun and family friend), has been helping the dying through their last hours for 40+ years. She said very sincerely last night as everyone gathered to pray the Rosary that she had never seen so many people, so much love, and so much faith in one room in all those 40 years. This family is amazing, and everyone's love for one another and their love for Grandpa is an inspiration! He didn't live his life for wealth or material goods. He lived his life for Jesus Christ and for family. Nothing made him more joyful than to celebrate the mass daily, to welcome a new baby into the family, or to have any excuse to get as many family members together as possible! I hope I will have that much love around me when I'm dying. But you don't get that by living for stuff. Stuff doesn't hold vigil by your hospital bed for 48 hours. It doesn't weep when you are lifted up to God. Stuff doesn't care. And Grandpa didn't care about stuff. Though Grandpa was blessed with financial freedom, he gave as much away as he could to charity and to family. There is currently a senior housing project under construction in Dardenne Prairie, MO that is being build on land Grandpa donated to the archdiocese. That complex will be named St. William Apartments (St. William being Grandpa's namesake). Every Christmas Eve Grandpa had a wrapped gift for every single one of his children, their spouses, his grandchildren and their spouses, and his great-grandchild in addition to a cash gifts for all as well. Grandpa sent grandkids to college when their parents couldn't afford it, and he donated as much as he could every year to charity - sometimes exceeding one million dollars (though he never talked about it, he was unbelievably humble). When John and I were in a bind after we moved to St Louis and we had trouble with housing arrangements, Grandpa let us stay rent free in a house he usually rented out. Grandpa lived his life in service to God and in service to everyone around him. And that is why the people in his hospital room poured out into the hallway, and his grandchildren all over the world caught the first flights home as soon as word got out that he was going to Jesus.

The world is not going to be the same without him and his incredible generosity. But there are now well over 40 grandchildren that will carry on his spirit of laughter, life, love, faith, and generosity. That's a pretty big impact for one person to have. I hope I will have half that impact on the world.

I apologize if my entry is heavy. My heart is heavy. And these are the things that are on my mind.

I am going to leave you with info for a giveaway. Because I hate to think I'm leaving anyone else with a heavy heart. So...

There is a fun giveaway here for some lovely quilting goodies. I am getting into quilting (because I really have so much time for another craft *sarcasm*) and I am hoping to get my hands on one of these goodies!! Maybe you will too!

Huge hugs to everyone! I promise my next entries won't be so somber. Stay tuned, because I have a giveaway of my very own coming up!

Thank you for your prayers!!!!!!!
(((HUGS)))

18 comments:

Kathy A. said...

{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}

Catherine G. said...

I didn't find your entry heavy at all - instead I found it inspiring and uplifting. You are so right about the "stuff" - it's over rated - love is waaayyy better!

Cari said...

Kim, I was so very sad to learn of your loss. It sounds like he lived a full life and was a blessing to countless - what a testimony of wonderful man he was.

Praying God's peace and comfort on you and your family.

Andie said...

{{{{{{{{{{huge hugs}}}}}}}}}}

staci said...

Big Hugs and many condolences. I think it's very safe to say, that his legacy will continue to live on through each of you, and I'm sure that will make him proud :)

Sharon said...

Truly an exceptional man! {{{hugs}}}

Michele B. said...

Kim - I hadn't seen your last entry till now. I'm so very sorry! It was a a privilege to read about him and the love you had (and have) for him. What a beautiful difference one life made.

Katrina said...

What a wonderful tribute to a special man. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope the memories of him and his love for Jesus will comfort you and your family. {{{{{hugs}}}}}

P.S. I grew up in the St. Louis area, on the Illinois side.

Teri said...

Kim, I was so sorry to check in and read about the loss of your husband's grandpa. What a lovely and loving tribute to a generous and loving man. Your families will continue to be blessed by his presence in your lives and the lives of all who knew him. What more could one ask? Love and hugs.

Suzanne said...

Kim, I am sorry to hear of your loss. I am sorry that I didn't see this earlier, but on Thursday my Grandmother very suddenly passed away. I will keep your family in my prayers. Your family is lucky to have known such a wonderful man.

Raven/Missy said...

I am sorry to hear of your loss. I will keep your family in my prayers.

Cindy said...

So sorry to hear your loss, Kim.
{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}

Brigitte said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. You will see that after a while your heart gets lighter and you will treasure in it all those precious memories of a wonderful man.

Sally said...

Kim I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you all {{{{hugs}}}}

Siobhan said...

Kim, I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like your husband's grandfather was a wonderful man, and his legacy lives on. I will light a candle for him next time I'm at the cathedral. Big hugs & lots of prayers for your family.

Aussie Stitcher said...

I am sorry to read about your loss Kim. Take comfort in the love of those around you and in the memories that you shared. ((((HUGS))))

DaisyGirl said...

I'm so sorry sweetie, death is never easy for anyone, I'm happy that he was surrounded by family and friends. My grandad was like yours, very active in his parish. I think I mis-spelled that. Sometimes when I read about others catholic faith, I think about mine. That's a whole other story. I'm keeping you in my prayers.
Hugs,
Donna

Kim said...

Sounds like a great man......and like he blessed many people in his life. We'll all die...would we all be so blessed to have loved ones to help us on our journey.
May God Bless him and keep him in his loving hands.