Monday, March 14, 2011

Well Done, Good & Faithful Servant

On Saturday morning, heaven gained a stubborn soul. Three weeks after he was "supposed" to die, my Pappap finally said "Ok, I'm ready."

Their love was like that out of a story book. They met on a Greyhound bus bound for Pennsylvania. She played hard to get, but he got her. And their love grew over  60-some years (as my grandma said to me yesterday). And their family grew too. Six children, 27 grand-children, 16 great-grandchildren.




He was a Sicilian, a Merchant Marine, a ball player, a wallpaper hanger, a husband, father, grandfather. He taught us to respect our parents, work hard, and appreciate a good Italian olive. No boy we liked earned the title 'boyfriend' until he'd met Pappap and got the approval, which was a squeeze of the hand and a wink. 

I remember when I was 15 years old, I got a second hole pierced in my ears. I went over to my grandparents' house sometime afterwards and he immediately said to me, "What are you doing with all that metal in your ears??" I desperately tried to argue my point and convince him that it was cool to have four earrings in my ears. But there was no convincing Pappap of anything if he didn't want to be convinced. He would often say that if any grandkids showed up to the house with a tattoo, he'd scrub it off himself.

Never again did I wear four earrings to Grandma and Pappap's house.

And two weeks ago, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my Pappap and cousin, Katherine. Katherine asked me, "hey, do you have an extra hole in yours ears?" With Pappap sitting right there, I tried to squelch the conversation about controversial piercings. Even so close to death, I was afraid he'd wollop me!

Pappap was a strong man, a stubborn one, a gruff one at times. But boy, could he love. When we were kids, he would grab us as we were walking by and hold on tight. That man had the tightest grip. He would squeeze us hard, and we'd squirm and try to get away but never once could I get out of that strong grip. All he wanted was a kiss, and as soon as we gave up and kissed him on the cheek, we were free to go.




He was the pillar of our family and I can't imagine a gathering without him sitting at the head of the table, watching, listening and soaking in his beautiful family. He lived a hard, beautiful, full life and there is no doubt that when he finally arrived in heaven, he heard the words "Well done, my good and faithful servant" from his Jesus. And then I bet he challenged Jesus to a card game.



One blog post can't begin to touch on the life of a man like my Pappap. And I feel like this post is entirely inadequate. We are missing him terribly this week and our hearts are aching. It's so tough for me to be here in Hawaii, alone, when my heart is with my family in Maryland. But in spite of the tears and the sadness, there is great joy. We rejoice that he is home with Jesus. His body is whole and healthy and he knows nothing but joy. Like my dad said the night I said a tearful goodbye to Pappap a few weeks ago, "Our hope of heaven is his reality". And we have this promise...

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:4 

38 comments:

  1. I'm truly sorry for your loss, take care and stay strong. Your Pappap really seem like a kind, fun-loving man.

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  2. Oh Lindsay this brought tears to my eyes! I'm so sorry you are alone right now...I know its hard! But I love that you are clinging to His promises and this just gives me so much hope =) I know Jesus is walking you through this...

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  3. oh honey!! I am so sorry for your loss!! Your pappap sounds like a wonderful man and a unique soul. I love the ear piercing story! lol. I have three holes in one ear and 5 in the other. Every time I get a new hole my grandpa rolls his eyes and says one hole is more than enough!! :)
    I love you Lindsay!!!
    xoxo

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  4. What a beautiful tribute to a man who obviously brought much love into the world. Your Pappap sounds like someone I would have been honored to know. You and your family are in my thoughts.

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  5. your grandfather obviously left your family with a tremendous legacy, and you certainly do it justice here. :) what a beautiful post! i know your granddad is smiling down on you right now.

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  6. ohh lindsay!! this brought tears to my eyes. :( definitely keep with you all the great memories of your granddad and know that he is looking down on you and SO proud of you! xo

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  7. What a beautiful post!I'm so sorry for your loss. He seems like he was such an amazing man. You and your family are so blessed to have gotten to spend some great last moments with him while you were home.

    Keep your head up! Even though you miss him, it's not the last time that you'll see him. And seeing him in Heaven will be SO much better than any memory you have of him. :)

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  8. i am so sorry for your loss....such a gorgeous post about your pappap...hang in there and relish in the memories, pictures, laughter, and love that you will always have:)
    gina

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  9. I'm so sorry, sweetie. I think it's wonderful that you were so close to him. My heart aches for you and your family. He was obviously a great man, and will be sorely missed. I'll be praying for you. Hang in there.

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  10. Yep, I'm having to wipe tears out of my eyes. He sounds like he was a really great man and someone to look up to. I'm so sorry for your loss... I hope he finds my grandpa up there, I'm sure they'd have lots to talk about!

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  11. What a bittersweet post! How blessed you all were to have such a wonderful man in your family. My thoughts are with you while you cope with this loss. Many hugs to you!

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  12. So sorry for your loss, my thoughts are with you and your family

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  13. So sorry for your loss. :( This was a beautifully written post.

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  14. Lindsay, I'm so sorry you have to go through this while physically alone. Take comfort in knowing that like Jesus, your Pappap will always be with you.

    "Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so you do not grieve like those who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him." 1 Thessolonians 4:13-14

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  15. Lindsay, I am so thankful God gave you those 2 weeks at home to say goodbye to your beloved Pappap. I am so sorry for your loss, but am rejoicing with you that he has finally found his true home. This was a beautiful tribute, I cried through the whole thing (mostly because of your real and loving descriptions of him, partly because my kids call my Dad Papap, and it hit a little close to home). Praying for comfort for you and the whole Palumbo clan.

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  16. wow. just wow. not only are you a GREAT writer, lindsay, but i can literally feel the love that you have for your Pappap. that is so awesome.
    praying for you, though. we all need prayer. :)

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  17. Great Post Lindsay!! It sounds like your pappap was a wonderful man! I know that you & your family will miss him dearly, but I know that you find comfort in knowing that he is in a better place! So sorry for your loss! Praying for you & your family during this difficult time!

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  18. This is a truly beautiful post, it really captures how great a man he was.

    I'm so sorry for your loss, friend.

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  19. I'm so sorry for your loss. Through just your beautifully written post, it's easy to tell that your Pappap was a wonderful man of God. Rest assured knowing that you will see him again one day and get many more of those tight, strong hugs that you remember. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  20. Aw, Lindsey, I'm sorry for your loss. you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  21. This is my first post. I have enjoyed and followed your blog for several months now.

    So sorry for your loss. What a memory for him - and you - as the whole family gathered around him a few weeks ago.

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  22. so sorry to hear the loss of your grandpa but what a sweet time i bet he's having up there rejoicing with our heavenly father. that thought and knowing that is so comforting.

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  23. Not everyone is blessed with the opportunity to know their grandparents and have such a special relationship that you got to have with your grandpa. It sounds like he made an amazing impact on your family and left something incredibly special behind for all of you to remember! :)

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  24. I'm sorry for your loss :( your grandfather sounds like he was an amazing mam!

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  25. :( Hope you are all ok. I havent heard from you for a while, but i'm thinking of ou xx

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  26. lindsay, I am so sorry for your loss and my thoughts are with you and your family.
    Abbie xo

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  27. Lindsay, I am so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I just had a nice good cry reading your post, you are a beautiful writer and so gifted. Your Pappap seemed like a wonderful man and is no doubt smiling down on you at this very moment. Love you Linds, if you need anything at all..i'm here for you

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  28. What a wonderful man! What a blessing to have someone like that in your life--and I can tell he always will be a part of your life, even from Heaven.

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  29. I am so sorry for your loss.
    I lost my grampa two years ago and it was and still is really tough for me.
    {{HUGS}}

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  30. What a precious tribute to what you described to be an incredible man. Your respect, admiration and love were surely treasured if you showed even an ounce with your Pappap, that you shared here. Praying for sweet peace to surround your family!

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  31. sweet, sweet post.
    praying for you!
    xo

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  32. This was such a beautiful post! I'm praying for you! I like how your grandfather had to approve boys. ;) He sounds a lot like my mom's dad - very intelligent, stubborn, and a wonderful man. I miss both of my grandfathers, and I wish they could meet my current boyfriend and be here to see me get married one day...

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  33. Aw, sweet Lindsay. I love you and am so sorry he has gone, but rejoice with you he has gone HOME. I am sorry you were alone during this time. Wish I could be there to hug you! You are in my prayers. I'll see you soon!

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  34. I am so very sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Take care.

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  35. This is a truly beautiful tribute, Lindsay. I'm sure your Pappap is touched to be thought of so highly. I'm so, so sorry for you and your family's loss.

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  36. So so sorry for your family's loss. This is such a beautifully written post that I was getting misty just reading it. Prayers for you and your family.

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  37. I'm so sorry for your loss. I really like how you paid tribute to your granddad, your love for him just flows throughout the entire post. I'm sure he's going to be very proud of you. :)

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