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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bitter Sweet

I had all kinds of posts planned for December, yet none of them have really come to be, and none of them really seem to matter anymore.  This December has been filled with some moments of incredible joy, and some moments of incredible sadness.
Since my last post, I turned 30, rather quietly.  My wonderful husband and children took me to dinner, and gave me a present, and cleaned the house for me. I could not ask for a better husband or family, I mean that. My parents joined us for dinner, I could not ask for better parents (I mean that too.)
I had my first ultrasound for the baby, and got to see the heart beat. Today's post was supposed to be about that, but I will save that for another time. All looks good with baby, and I am told everything looks healthy and perfect.
Then there was Sandy Hook Elementary. And the tragedy that ensued there.  I do not have words to put on paper to describe the evil and horror of that incident. As a parent to a kindergartener my heart absolutely broke. I wept for those parents who left the fire house empty handed, after searching for their child.  I pictured the Hubs and I going to search the crowds for our Monkey. I couldn't help it, it is just where my mind went. I just imagined what it would be like to be one of those mothers, and my heart broke. I got to tuck my little boy in last night, and watch him sleep peacefully.  He got to sign my birthday card in his scribbly handwriting, and buy a gum ball with me after dinner. Those other mothers are not so lucky.
And then there is my Grandaddy. My sweet Grandaddy made his way to heaven last night.  He was my Daddy's Daddy. He was such an amazing man, with such a rich life filled with talent, passion, and interest. He was a devout Christian, a Lutheran.  Yet, he never passed judgement on another, never seemed self- righteous, never pushed his beliefs on anyone, but loved, and revered God in every aspect of his life. He was a soldier, who served his country, and went to far away lands torn by war for the sake of our Freedom; leaving behind his wife and small children. He was a brilliant business man, and a devout teacher. He loved music and art.  His hands were those of a craftsman.  He built beautiful instruments by hand: violins, banjos, dulcimers.  He taught himself to play them, and mastered the art.  He painted beautiful landscapes with oils and brush. His home was filled with paintings signed with his name at the bottom. He could build nearly anything with wood; planes, furniture, anything. He could craft stained glass.  He could craft anything he put his mind to, with skill and precision. This is something he passed along to my Daddy.
He was married to my Gran for over 60 years.  He loved her dearly, and still treated her tenderly, and needed her more than anyone. That was clear to us all. My Grandaddy would tell  "backwards" stories, and all the grandchildren would gather around his knees. My children had the oppurtunity to meet him, and hear his tales once. I am glad they did.
I am trying to find my way through this process of grieving for my Gandaddy, and for whatever reason, I thought writing about him would help. He always impressed me. Always.
I will remember him as I always have. To me, he was always an old man, always wearing his plaid shirts and loafers, with his glasses pouch and a pen in the front shirt pocket, napping in his arm chair. He always made me popcorn in wooden bowls. He was eager to patiently teach me music, or painting, science. He always told me how pretty I was. Always. Every time he saw me.
My own Daddy is so much like his Daddy in so many ways. In all the wonderful ways.
Life is filled with bitter and sweet. That is what these past few weeks have been filled with. A mixture of both. Beauty and horrendous ugliness. Happiness and sadness. That is life.
I planned on posting regularly this month with Cookie recipes, Christmas Candied Popcorn, and ultrasound photos. But, as with life, things change, and now, I am just going to take a few days to thank God for the amazing blessings I have in my life. 
I am blessed to have been Gerry Garvey's grandaughter.   
I am blessed to tuck in my Little Monkey at night.
I am blessed to have my Momma and Daddy, and their amazing friendship and love.
I am blessed to have been smart enough to marry the Hubs. That is the best decision I have ever made.
God Bless everyone as this year draws to a close. Please, this Christmas, take a moment away from the gifts, and gadgets, and flashy Ipads, and Rudolph. And count your blessings.


  1. Oh Randi baby that is such a beautiful way of describing your Granddaddy and also the events and blessings we all share
    Love you

    1. Daddy, I am so glad you liked it. I love you

  2. I'm sorry I never had the chance to meet "granddaddy" yet somehow I feel like I know him from reading your beautiful essay. Your post brought tears to my eyes and a sadness to my heart. Thank you so much for giving me a glimpse of your "granddaddy" from a loving granddaughters viewpoint.

    My heartfelt condolences to you and your entire family, Miranda.


  3. Your post was such a beautiful tribute to your Granddad. Thank you for sharing. When I read it I thought there would be nothing better than being thought so wonderfully of by your Granddaughter! Love and family are the greatest gifts of this life. You and all the Garvey family are in our thoughts and prayers. We love you.

    Aunt Judy

    1. I love you back, I am so glad to share,