Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's Been Awhile...

...but I'm still here. :)

Life has been pretty hectic and hard the last few weeks. My Grandpa Willett (my dad’s dad) passed away on June 25th. At 88 years old and with an inoperable, cancerous tumor, we assumed his life here on earth wouldn’t be too much longer, but he seemed to take too quick of a turn for the worst. It was awful to see him helpless and struggling in his last days of life. But I’m so glad I was there to hold his hand and talk to him and take my little girls to visit him. And I’m happy that he is healed in heaven now. But we miss him, my grandma most of all. They would have celebrated 69 years of marriage this August. He was such a hardworking, respected man, a veteran of World War II, a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and most importantly a follower of Jesus.

The picture above is of my grandpa holding Lilly when she was just newborn. I took her in to see him two days before he died, the day she turned 3 months old. Grandpa wasn’t able to talk much, but he was able to weakly reach out his finger, and Lilly, his youngest great-grandchild, grasped it tightly with her tiny little hand. I hope that brought a moment of joy to him as he lay there dying. I know it’s a moment I will never forget.

At his funeral I was so proud to be his granddaughter, and as various people shared things about him, it made me hope he could look down from heaven and see how respected and loved he was. I just wished I’d told him more often how much and why I loved him. We can never tell our loved ones too often, so be sure to take every opportunity to do so!

I’ll throw in a couple more pictures of Lilly now at 3 months old and my two girls in their 4th of July finest. :)


Sharon Kirk Clifton said...


God bless you, keep you, and comfort you through this difficult time. Aren't we thankful for the Hope we have in Jesus Christ? It sounds to me as though your grandpa honored his Savior with his life, and now the stories that you and your family will continue to tell will pass along that rich legacy. What an inheritance! And I have no doubt that the touch of your precious baby brought great comfort to him.

Because of Christ,
Sharon Kirk Clifton

donnarobinson said...

Hi JoAnne,

I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather's passing, but it's a blessing that he was saved. My mom just died last October, and she was 88 also. (You can see that I'm probably the same age as your parents.) It's really comforting to me to know that God is sovereign, and that Mom is present with the Lord. My dad is the one who is by himself now, but God has been faithful to him.

May the Lord bless! We'll keep you and your family in prayer.

Barbara Curtis said...


May God give you His comfort during this sad time. What a legacy your grandfather left.

Your little girls are so precious. It's always a treat when you include pictures of them.

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Sorry to hear about your grandfather. What a blessing and comfort to know where he is.
Jodi has grown so much. She's so pretty and Lilly looks like a porcelain doll. said...

Dear JoAnne,
I just stopped by to see what was going on with you and Becky...I am so sorry to read about your grandfather. But what a beautiful life he gave to his God, his family, his country for all his 88 years. Your loving pride (the good sort!) in the man he was comes shining through in your words about him. And the picture you posted of him with your youngest daughter, just lovely...
May God bless you and your family during this time of separation and yet, rejoicing.
In Christ,
Melanie Panagiotopoulos

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Joanne, so sorry to hear about your loss. Your Grandpa is healed and rejoicing right now, so hopefully, that thought will bring you a bit of comfort.

Erica Vetsch said...

What a beautiful tribute to the eternal legacy your grandfather left for you and your girls.

Isn't it glorious to rest in the Hope we have of eternity with Christ?

Your girls are gorgeous. Hard to believe it's been three months and more since Lilly arrived. Love on them a lot. They'll be grown before you know it. (says the woman who just sent her eldest on her first solo driving mission yesterday...and got the bill for the first sememster of college for the same child...time just flies!)

Vickie McDonough said...

So sorry to hear about your grandfather's passing, JoAnne. But PTL that he's now in heaven rejoicing with our Lord. My grandparents were married 72 years before one of them died.

The pictures of your girls are darling.

Connie Stevens said...

Saying goodbye to someone we love is harder than we ever thought possible, but knowing they are safe and healed for all eternity makes the separation--however temporary--endurable. Praying God's sweet comfort for your hurting heart, JoAnne. Cling to the sweet memories.

Carrie Turansky said...

Hi JoAnne,
Thanks for sharing the memories of your grandfather. He truly comes from a great generation. So glad he was able to get to know his great-grandchildren. I am praying for your family, especially your grandma. After all those years together, I am sure this will be a challenging season for her. May God comfort you all.


Debby Mayne said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, JoAnne. Grandparents can be such wonderful blessings, and it sounds like he was. I'm glad he got to hold Lilly. I'm sure he experienced joy when he saw his great-granddaughters.

Thanks for the pictures of your girls. They are both so precious!

Linda Ford said...


Sorry to hear of your grandfather's passing. Somehow we are never quite ready to let them go.

Your girls are adorable.


Jennifer Johnson said...


I just got home from visiting my aging grandparents in Indiana. It was a hard visit, because I remember them strong, vibrant, and full of life. Your post made me cry. I'm so thankful for the years I've had with them as well.

Your girls are beautiful!


Elaine said...

Thank you! This is well-written and thought provoking. I'm sorry you lost your grandfather, but happy he is now with the Lord. What could be better for him! May the Lord comfort your grandmother and the rest of the family in these days of grieving his loss.

Becky Melby said...

So sorry to hear about your grandpa, JoAnne. But how awesome to have grandparents who leave a legacy of faith. Your girls will pass the stories you tell of him on to their children.

Beautiful pictures. The girls are adorable and growing so fast!

Beth Loughner said...

What a beautiful tribute. Knowing Christ makes all the difference in the world. Knowing you'll see your grandfather again is worth more than anything we have on this earth.

The separation right now must be very hard and I'm praying for the peace only God can give.


JoAnne said...

Thanks SO much for your prayers and kind words, everyone! I sure appreciate you all. A man at church today who lives next door to my grandparents stopped to tell me while he was ushering, "I miss waving to your grandpa on his front porch when I drive home." I thanked him and started to cry, but even though his words brought tears, I was so glad he told me that. It means so much that people care!

Mary Connealy said...

A great tribute to your grandfather, JoAnne. I'm sorry for your loss.

Such beautiful babies. Thanks for the pictures.

Carla Gade said...

Sounds like you had a special grandfather. I'm so glad for you that he got to know your daughters. This reminded me of when my grandmother passed away my boys were only 3 months old and 16 months (now 22 & 23). I still treasure those moments when my grandmother could hold her grandchildren, and I know you will (do), too. Praying for you.

Your little girls are so lovely!!

Crystal Laine Miller said...

I, too, am touched by your tribute to your grandfather and how life goes on with your little girls (adorable!) Won't we have a wonderful time seeing everyone in heaven? It brings tears to my eyes to know the grief now will be joy someday.

May God comfort you as you miss him, and raise his great-granddaughters with stories about him.