Wednesday, April 26, 2006

My Broken Heart

I know sharing is therapeutic and so healing so I really need to share. My friend emailed me tonight and it reminded me of that. I struggled with sharing this and I am not sure why, but I know how many prayer warriors are on this email list and prayers are needed right now.

This morning I received a phone call telling me that Papa Ray had died. Those of you that know Papa Ray know what a very special man he was. Most of you have heard me talk about him. He was and always will be our Santa Claus.

He had such a loving heart. He reminded me much of my daddy. He gave incredibly real hugs like my daddy.

Mary Elizabeth has seen him and had her picture made with him forever. I have an amazing picture of him with her. The love he had for her will never be replaced.

I still remember the tears coming to his eyes as my mama told him Michala was diagnosed with cancer and was having her leg amputated the next week. He took Michala from me, he held her, hugged, kissed and loved her.

Last year as Marlee Anne ran up to see him I remember having an unreal joy. Kinda that joy you feel the first time you see your child walk. Instead of telling him what she wanted for Christmas she told him what her sisters wanted. He was so proud of her and had to keep asking her what she wanted. After telling him what granmama wanted he finally told him what she wanted for herself. Of course she got it too.

I went through the motions of today stopping only briefly to let thoughts of him creep in. I wanted not to think about it. Not to think it was real. Reading my friends email made it real. I saw it. I read it.

Someone told me today that the grief here on earth is so great but the joy in Heaven is so much greater. I can only imagine how great it was when Papa Ray got to Heaven. He is singing his huge heart out. What a lovely man he was. I am sad he is gone. I don't understand it. In my selfishness I wish for him back. Saying he is better off doesn't make this any easier.

For the past few days Marlee Anne has been talking about Heaven so much. The other night after Mary Elizabeth had such a rough night and very long day Mike came in and told me to go to bed. I didn't hesitate. As I was lying there Marlee Anne came in and said she had to call my daddy. I asked her what my daddy's name was. She sometimes confuses Mike as being my daddy since he is her daddy. Well she said Ging. This is what all the grandchildren called him. He has been gone for 19 years so Marlee Anne only knows him from stories we have told her and some pictures. I asked her where Ging was and she said in Heaven. I asked her why she needed to call him and she said I have to tell him you need him. She went on to call him on her play phone and told what she and I needed.

Throughout the next day she asked if all kinds of things would be in Heaven. Then she started asking about certain people being in Heaven. Then she went on to start asking everyone that called if they were going to Heaven. We have a 3 year old Evangelist.

She asked how we get to Heaven. I didn't know why she was saying all these things. Now I think I do. I needed to be reminded of Heaven. Today I needed the reassurance that Papa Ray was in a better place. That we all have a better place to go to one day.

Thanks for letting me ramble and share my heart. Please keep Papa Ray's family and friends in your prayers. This is going to be a really hard time on our little town.

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