Papa was 89 years old (he would have turned 90 in February) and he was battling cancer for a while. He was doing good and then they put him back on his chemo and he had some adverse reactions to it, went into the hospital the day before Thanksgiving and then passed in his sleep on the following Sunday.
We were all devastated. I am thankful for that my family got to go to Memphis for Thanksgiving this year and see him one last time. I however missed that opportunity. Ryan and I found out that his dad also has cancer (bone marrow) and he has been in Little Rock at UAMS getting treatment for the past month. So we decided to go down here for Thanksgiving and be with his parents. I will always have that twinge of regret not getting to see my Papa for the last time but I also know, my husband needed me at that same time and I believe Papa would have told me to be with Ryan and his father.
The funeral and visitation were this past Tuesday and Wednesday and I really enjoyed hearing all the amazing stories about him and how he impacted so many people's lives. Papa was a preacher and missionary his entire life and it would be impossible to quantify the enormous impact he had on this world. I am so grateful that he had the opportunity to officiate our wedding and I am sad for my brothers that they won't get that honor.
Papa had a sense of humor that was out of this world and you always knew how much he loved his family - especially my Nana who he had been married to for more than 64 years! When I was younger, every time he would see me, he would sing: "There she is, Miss America..." It always made me giggle.
Papa was such an example for us all and I will miss him terribly but I know he is in no more pain and watching over all of us now.
Love you Papa!