As many of you have already heard, thanks to Facebook, Papa passed away peacefully in his sleep last night. It is certainly a sad time, but the entire family is comforted with the shared knowledge that he is now in heaven. When I first heard that Papa had passed away, I immediately put together my own scenario of what likely happened when he was welcomed and it goes a little something like this:
Papa walks through the pearly gates, which happen to look a lot like the back door of the little home that is now occupied by Daniel, Katie, Abby and friends, wipes off his hands after a hard day’s work, eats a wonderful meal with Nana and all of the friends they’ve shared, reaches into the cookie jar for one of Nana’s chocolate chip cookies (which now taste even better than he remembered), sit’s back in his chair with a toothpick, puts on a flannel shirt and demands that someone turn up the heat because, “It’s freezing in here.”
I cry when I think of it, but it’s the kind of tears that Papa taught us all to cry. The kind that express sadness AND joy, the kind that don’t necessarily connote pain, but reflect a deeper understanding of what is good. These are the same tears that Papa always cried at just about every Thanksgiving dinner as he tried to thank God for all of the wonderful blessing He’d bestowed upon our always growing family. I cry these tears now to express the comfort in knowing that Papa is watching over us while being filled with a greater love than even he could express.
While this imagined “scene” is probably destitute in comparison to what actually happened when Papa was welcomed, it warms me to know that he’s now surrounded by an unimaginable warmth and love forever.