Brantley: 17 months

Brantley,

Your PaPa went to heaven this month. It was a really hard time for our family as we watched the patriarch and backbone of our family’s heritage fight lunch cancer all the way until the last day of his life. He and Nanny spent their anniversary dinner at the nursing home with take-out dinner and fake candles, surrounded by pictures of them during earlier years that your Nana and Aunt Laurie brought in for the occasion. Nanny stayed with him almost every night and we visited often. Every time you went to visit with me or Daddy, PaPa’s face seemed to light up and you just brought this beautiful, wonderful energy and uplifting spirit to the room. He was always so happy to see you and even when speaking was so uncomfortable and painful for him, he always tried to talk through the pain. When speaking was too hard, you both would just stand there and look at each other and somehow that was enough.

Ultimately, God called him home and it was very very tough for all of us. You ask about PaPa often and I know there’s no way to explain to you the loss of someone so close to you but we encourage you to talk about him and we talk about him often to keep his memory alive for you.

Perhaps the most difficult moment for us to watch was when we all went back to the house for visitation after his memorial service. When you walked into the kitchen, you immediately went over to stand under the fan, pointed to the switches on the wall, and started looking around the room from one of us to the other. We quickly realized that you were looking for your PaPa and you seemed so confused that you couldn’t find him. In such an innocent and simple way, it broke our hearts and it will always be a moment I remember from those most difficult days.

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It’s no surprise that we attended the first Christmas parade of the year, which actually happened the week of Thanksgiving but we didn’t care… we were thrilled to take you to your second ever Christmas parade!

Daddy was working on Thanksgiving, so we started the day off at Nanny and Papa’s house and helped cook Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family. Well, you weren’t very much help but you did a great job supervising.  Later, we drove out to the station for dinner with Daddy and you get more and more excited every time we see the big trucks. Daddy was also happy to have you visit him on Thanksgiving, since it’s one of his favorite holidays.

This year we did our anniversary family photos at Nanny and Papa’s house and the photos were just beautiful and really captured your fun little spirit.

Things to remember about this month…

  • You love pushing the dining table chairs around the living room like you’re pushing a walker.
  • You also love sweeping the floor with our big broom. Maybe one day soon it’ll actually be helpful. Right now you just push the dirt around the floor that Shadow brings in from the backyard.
  • For some reason, you think it’s hilarious to hover over your milk cup while it’s sitting on the floor to drink it without ever having to touch the cup.
  • You are constantly trying to make everyone laugh. If you do something that makes us laugh or giggle, you keep doing it over and over and over again.
  • I still sing to you every night before I lay you down in your crib and you’ve started patting my back while I sing to you.
  • In addition to feeding Shadow every morning and night (carrying his bowl over to his crate, setting it inside the crate, and telling him “ok” while you clap… cause that’s what we do), we also added checking the mailbox to your daily chores. But now you also want to check EVERYONE’S mailbox down the whole street so we have to keep you at bay for now and make sure our neighbors aren’t missing any important bills.

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We love you, little man.

Happy 17 months!

Love, Your Mama

 

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Comments

  1. I am sitting here in tears at the beauty and sweet memories of your post. We are so blessed to have had Dad in our lives for 84 years, and for him to be able to enjoy the gift of a great-grandson. His love is still seen in our family every day.

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