I received a call from my Dad last week that my PeePaw Travis had passed away. He had been sick with cancer...and ended up dying of pneumonia last week. Wed 9/15/10. He would have been 81 on 9/25/10.
I have wonderful childhood memories with him...he used to talk like Donald Duck...and it would make me laugh like crazy! I always remember how he lit up at Christmas time. I think he enjoyed giving gifts more then we enjoyed receiving them. He was just that type of man.
I hadn't recently spent much time with him. I live in Texas and he lives in Tennessee. I get up there when I can...and hope that I am able to see everyone. Joel and I saw PeePaw Travis two years ago on Thanksgiving...and I hadn't seen him or spoken to him since then.
Me, Joel, Joe and Britney all flew up to Nashville for his funeral. It was a very nice service and the whole family was there to celebrate his wonderful life.
I learned more about my PeePaw Travis that day then I had ever known about him. Why is that? Why do funerals bring families back together? Tho older I get the more funerals I go to. I know that's just how it works....but it really makes you open your eyes to life.
I wish I would have already known all of those things about PeePaw Travis before he died. I wish I would made more of an effort to spend more time with him...get to know him better....and not just assume that he would be around the next time I was able to get to Tennessee.
It's too late for me to do that now...and I have learned from his passing. I WILL NOT let that happen again. I am going to build my relationships with my whole family regardless of how far apart we are. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family...and I need to spend every minute I can with them...and let them know how I care for them. They will not be around forever.
Seeing my father lose his father was one of the hardest things I have ever had to witness. All I could think about was when the day comes that I lose my father. Will I know everything about him? Will I have spent all of the time with him I could have?? We he know how much I loved him?? As of a week or so ago I couldn't have honestly answered those questions with a yes. As of today...I can.
You have heard it a million times....but man it's really sunk in this time. Life is too short to waste time worrying about things you can't change....or worrying if you are trying hard enough....or wondering what will happen tomorrow. Live every day the best you know how. I know there will be days that I fail....and I know there will be days that I do well. I just know that everyday of my life will include my family. I want them to be a part of everything I do. I know now that I will commit myself to being the best I can be to everyone in my family no matter how far away or close they may be!
I wish I could have seen then what I see now. I guess that's just the way life goes....that's what growing up is all about. You have to learn from mistakes....and grow with each mistake you make:-)
I cherish the memories I have of my PeePaw Travis...and know that he is in a better place now. Here are a few pictures from the cemetery where he was buried. It truly was a beautiful place:-) I will miss you PeePaw Travis. I also added a picture of a scrap page I did years ago...of me, Dad, PeePaw Travis and Thomas in 1996. It's a 4 generation picture. I am so glad he was able to meet his great grandson!!