Last week a great man left us and went on to be with Jesus. That great man is Levi's grandfather, my children's great grandfather, Granddad. His death has given me a lot to think about. I think about the sadness, the void, the let down from the expectation to see him in his recliner when walking through the door. Watching my family miss him is the hardest of all. I love him, I miss him, he is my grandfather too, but not like his sons, his granddaughter and his grandsons love and miss him. I cannot put into words what this Pope family represents but I can try.
All these men in the Pope family, Granddad, Keith (my father-in-law), Craig (my uncle-in-law) and their son's, Levi, Elias and Justin are not just family, they are a team, a unit. They are bonded by something more than blood. I don't know if it is Crawford Smith, or the fact that this family was mostly male before all us girls came along, or maybe the values this family represents, but the Pope family is something really super special. I do think Crawford Smith (the family company) has a big role in this family's bond and I am just so thankful for such an amazing opportunity that Levi had to work with the men in his family from a very young age. It made him the man he is today and I love that man. Even now, the baby and only girl (for a long time) of the family, Kayla works along side her dad, uncle and brother. How special. I hope that Jack gets the same opportunity as his dad, uncle and cousins. But I think all of this adds to the sadness of Granddad's death. Because they not only lost a loved one but the leader of the family and the family business.
I also thought about how cool the visitation and funeral were. It meant so much to the family to see the ridiculously long line at the visitation. It was so long we should have passed out water just so those at the end would stay hydrated. And the funeral was so sweat, so beautiful. Granddad was loved. The end. He was loved as a grandfather, a dad, a brother, friend. He represented something beyond just the man. He represented the beauty of little Greenville, Texas. Honesty, family, honor, simplicity, hard work. But the cool part of it all is that these qualities have been passed down to his children and their children. I see it in the men in my family. Levi and I will teach it to our children. Granddad has left a legacy and we will treasure it.
Lastly, I have thought about the joy. The joy of hugging Jesus, of sitting in His lap, of holding his hand and walking beside Him. Granddad is experiencing that and more right now! Just typing those words brings happy tears to my eyes because I know that someday that will be me. I cannot imaging how scary death is for those who have no hope, no knowledge or belief in the promise God made us. But for Granddad Pope I know there is no sadness for him. There is only joy, peace, and overwhelming love. Yes, we miss him, but only for a short time. We will see him again. How awesome is that!!!!! Until then, we will honor the life he lived here in Greenville, Texas, USA, Earth. We love you Granddad and we will see you later.