Thursday, September 25, 2008

In loving memory

This morning my Grandpa Lay passed away. I knew him as Choo-Choo train Grandpa. Every time we went to visit my mother's parent's we would always see choo-choo trains on the way to their house. I remember as we drove, we would see the big sugar silos on the way and lots and lots of open fields in Sugarland, Texas.
I remember that he was a quiet and gentle man and he was extremely devoted to my grandma. I remember being a little scared of him because he was so tall and his southern accent so rich, and I didn't want to do anything to cross him. Not that I had ever seen him get upset or anything.
A funny habit he had (in my opinion) is that he loved his 'stories'. I don't think that he ever missed an episode of The Young and the Restless in the past 20 years or so...oh, and how he loved his ice cream!
As I grew older, I noticed other things about him. Every year, he would send a birthday card to us - I had always thought that it was my grandma who did that. He was an extremely hard worker and he always kept a large barrelled handgun in the back of his pants or in his recliner. Scared me to death when I first saw it. I was spending the night there when I was about 17 and I was terrified that he'd think I was a stranger walking around in his house at night. Apparently, this was not a new thing either. My parents made him lock it up when we were little so we never saw it. Oh, the good ol' days!

I am happy to say that my mom, an only child, was able to be by his side in his final moments. She told me this morning that she keeps floundering between sadness for her and happiness for him. I am a little worried about her, her plate has been so full recently, and I hope that she knows how much we love her and are here for her. I know that no one can replace her daddy, but what blessings the temple brings! The knowledge that we are sealed to our families for eternity is such a great comfort. Can you imagine the reunion? So many people on the other side have been waiting patiently to be with him again. Grandma especially.

I will miss him greatly. I had hoped that my children would be able to meet him before he passed and that saddens me that they will never know this great man in this life, but at least I know that he can see them now.

I love you, Grandpa!

PS: On a lighter note - when I was telling the boys that Great-grandpa Lay had gone to heaven, Scotty asked, "Did he walk there?" I replied, "I don't know how he got there." Then Scotty asked, "Well, what car did he take?" I love the sweet innocence of children!


Rachel said...

what a beautiful tribute to your grandfather. (and what a great mental image of his gun in his recliner.) the older i get, the more i wish i knew my grandparents better. i suppose that is what heaven is all about, right?

Erika said...

What great memories! I always thought it was Grandma to send the cards as well. It is certainly a great thing to have the knowledge of eternal life that we do!

The Eggett Family said...

He sounds like a wonderful person. I'm glad your Mom got to be there with him in his final days on earth.

Heath and Jessica said...

I'm sorry to hear that, but he is in a much better place. I know when Heath's dad passed, he was comforted in knowing that the reunion of his dad was so great & wonderful, like we welcome a new baby here, so he couldn't be too sad. It is always sad to see a loved one go, but what happiness we have that we will see them again.

Stacy said...

Thanks for sharing your sweet memories of your choo-choo train grandpa.
I loved both sets of my grandparents very much but remember referring to them as the "fun ones" or the "other ones", isn't that sad?