Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Saying Good-bye....

Friday night, Milton called to tell me a dear friend of mine had passed away. While I am sad for me, and sad for his precious wife, I am so thrilled for my friend.

That's the blessing of faith.

Pat Falls was more than just a friend, he was a link to the past. You see, my Grandad died when I was in Jr. High. And while I have memories of him through the years, the last years of his life were plagued with diabetes and heart issues.

I don't remember meeting Pat until Biggsy and I got married. But I definitely remember that first meeting. Here was one of my Grandad's old roping buddies telling me how proud he would be of me. For a girl who grew up with a Grandad who died before I was ready for him to, that meant the world.

After our wedding, one of the disposible cameras turned out the neatest picture. A picture of Pat and I -- he's holding his hat by his side. I love that picture. It's dark -- not a "good" picture at all. But how it looks -- this bride looking up into this old cowboy's eyes -- it's just the neatest picture. AND it's somewhere in this house. I'm searching.

Because that picture didn't come out, we tried to take another one at A'Lise's wedding. But it's not the same. Not at all. Just for starters, I'm not wearing a gorgeous wedding dress. I'm wearing this bridesmaids get-up that Mom made. (We'll discuss bridesmaids' attire in another post.)

Yes, I look like a dork. But think about how far I've come to be able to post such a dorky picture of me on my blog.

Pat and I stayed in touch -- and I learned more about him. He wasn't "just" a cowboy. He was an architect -- and a darn good one. We didn't get to see him all that often, but the girls and I would stop by from time to time to show off their rodeo duds or new boots or whatever.

Pat called himself the girls' surrogate Great-Grandad. He was there to tell us stories about my Grandad and how he used to rope, and how Grandad wore roller skates for a job at Sears & Robuck, and all sorts of stuff.

We last saw Pat at Christmas. At 93 years young, he was as sharp as ever. Still going to the post office with Miss Vera. We had Abbey Marie and Paw-Paw with us. Abbey and Abbie snuggled into a big chair and shared girl talk, while Kait turned cartwheels in the living room. Pat sent us home with an All's Good pie and the story that when he was little and visited his Grandma, he could always count on her having an All's Good pie for him to eat.

I'm going to miss Pat. He loved my Mama. And he loved the girls and I. But I guess it's Mom and Grandad's turn to visit with him.

Pat, we'll keep an eye on Miss Vera for you.

And don't forget we love you.

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