Yesterday we said goodbye (in this life) to a special man, Jason's Papa Jack.
In many ways we were relieved that his suffering on Earth was over, that his body, riddled with the effects of diabetes, was made whole, and that he was in a much better place.
However, it was also natural to feel sadness over losing such an important part of Jason's family. He lived with Papa Jack when he first moved to RC, before we got married, and they developed a special bond as a result.
Jason spoke beautifully at the funeral (as did his brother), captivating the audience with both "Jake's" (as Jason called him) humor, as well as some serious and emotional life lessons.
My favorite line from Jason's eulogy was when he said that his grandpa once told him they had two things in common: they both preached God's word, and they both married pretty girls from Russell County." I had never heard Jason tell this story before, and it brought both tears and laughter, converging at once into a mixture of emotion.
Later, as we filed into the covered, green chairs at the gravesite, I noticed the brightness of the sun and the crispness of the air, more aware than ever of savoring these small blessings, even in sad times.
Connor, in his black suit and hat, leaned over to me and said, "Where's Papa Jack? Is he sleeping? Shh...be quiet."
Not sure how much to say to a two-year old about death, I whispered back, "Yes, Connor, to us Papa Jack is sleeping, but he's all better now, and he's in heaven with Jesus."
He answered, innocently, "Okay, Momma."
I am thankful today as I remember the influence Papa Jack had on his family, which has directly influenced the character of my husband. I pray that we can pass this heart of servitude and Jesus' love to Connor, that way a piece of Papa Jack will always live on, too.