Monday, June 6, 2011


My Granddaddy died on Saturday.

He was a tomato farmer like my dad, and he had the nerve to go on the first day of packing season. Instead of worrying about getting the tomatoes out of the field and on the road, we were all blubbering over GranGran.

(That was a joke -- lame, maybe, but a joke)

Granddaddy wasn't the type of grandfather who would bounce me on his knee or take me for rides in his truck or teach me to fish (something he loved to do) when I was a little girl. He was a big, tough guy. He rode around on the farm and told my dad how to grow the tomatoes even after he retired. He always let you know what he thought about things (even one time when it made me put my head down on my desk --during packing season -- and sob for days.)

And yet he had a softer side, too. He cried when I went to Clemson. He cried when he saw me try on my wedding dress. He cried when his great-grandbabies were born. He called my grandmother his girlfriend, even after almost 60 years into marriage. He loved for his great-grandchildren to come visit him. He called me Mae.

I knew I was loved.

GranGran had not been feeling his best for almost a year now. He was on oxygen, and it was hard to see that big, strong man seem to grow old before all of our eyes. However, the end came very quickly. As of last Monday, he was home, sitting up in his chair, and the kids and I visited him. I had no idea it would be the last time that they would see him, and I am sad now that they didn't get to give him a "proper" goodbye (whatever that means). I got to go see him in the hospital on Saturday, though, to tell him goodbye. I leaned down and whispered that I loved him. And even though he was unresponsive, he got agitated, moved his arms, and all his stats changed -- the same way he reacted when any family member got close and talked to him.

He knew he was loved.

He died that evening surrounded by family, though sadly, I didn't make it back to the hospital in time.

Our minister was out at the packing house yesterday talking about the memorial service, and Mama said that he mentioned that he thought it was fitting that God called GranGran home during the harvest. I think that is really nice (and much more fitting than what I said before, huh?) -- a farmer going home during the harvest.

This was my verse of the day on Saturday, and I found it really comforting: Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 1 Chronicles 29:11


Mary Loyal said...

thinking of you- ml

I'maNolaGirl said...

This post was both sad and beautiful much like life and death I suppose. To know you are/were loved is the greatest gift, and with all of the amazing people in your family, I imagine the love he felt was endless. I have no doubt that he will be missed at the farm, but that's the thing about spending your life giving back to the Earth, he'll live on in every harvest every year.

Much love my dear friend. It's these times more than any that I wish we were there with you.


Kelly said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your Granddaddy. I hope you and your family find comfort in memories...and I hope you have a bountiful harvest in his honor.

Mandy said...

Sorry for your loss. Praying for you all.

Susan said...

Sweet post Christie. So sorry for your loss. You and your family are in our prayers.

caroline said...

Well said, cuz. Well said.
Love ya'll and will see you next weekend. xoxo

LP17 said...

I love this post.

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