Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A tribute to Papa Jack

I've been out of the loop for awhile.  It's been two weeks since I've posted last and I do have a lot of posts swirling in my head, but I'm just not the type of girl who can schedule posts.  I do my best writing on the fly, when I'm inspired.  So I hope I haven't lost all my readers!

I've been taking some time off the blog because my Papa passed away a week ago.  We rushed to Omaha to be with family and I just got back.

I wasn't sure if I should write about how I'm feeling on the blog since I have been really trying to stream line my posts to subjects of food or running.  But writing has always been therapeutic to me and I feel like I need to get some thoughts off my chest.
My papa Jack was the quintessential man; he was kind, compassionate, loving, generous, trustworthy and honest.  His characteristics were the epitome of what I always looked for in a life partner. When I thought about what I wanted in a husband, I thought of my papa. And I'm lucky because I've found in my husband someone who represents all that my papa was to me.
My papa died at age 93.  At age 92, he was still working at the liquor distributor where he started his career.  He was still driving and the picture of perfect healthy.  We thought we had years left with him.  His father lived to be over 100. But, in a year, his health deteriorated so very quickly.  I always say that you are never, ever prepared for death.  And when my mom called me Wednesday night at midnight with the news, I burst into tears, even though we all knew it was coming.

My papa Jack was incredibly loved.  Over 150 people showed up to his funeral.  Several people that we had never met came up to us with stories we had never heard.  The one that stood out to me was a man who told us he worked with Jack and twenty years ago his daughter was very ill and in the hospital.  My papa showed up to give his support and brought her flowers.  Even my Nana never knew of this story.

But that was the kind of man my papa was.  He would give away his last dollar, his coat off his back, his shoes from his feet.  He would do whatever you needed, whenever you needed it.  He was the most loving man I had ever met.

There was an article in the Omaha World Herald newspaper about my grandfather and my favorite quote was "He was the kindest, sweetest man who ever lived."  Because it is so very true.

Everyone who met my Papa loved him. There aren't enough adjectives in the English language to describe what an amazing man he was.

I leave you with this quote which I found online that deeply touched me.

"You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see him
Or you can be full of the love that you have shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him and only that he is gone,
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back,
Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on."
~David Harkins


  1. So sorry for your loss, Lizzy. Losing a grandparent is always really hard. May you find strength in all the good memories you had with your Papa and the long life he lived.

  2. I am so sorry for the loss of your Papa. this is such a sweet post honoring him.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss Lizzy. This was such a heart-felt article I feel like I knew your Papa. Sending you happy thought and sunny days.

  4. I'm so sorry Lizzy. Your Papa sounds like a wonderful man, and it's clear that he had a huge impact on your life. I'm glad you wrote about it - it's a beautiful post and a wonderful tribute to him.

  5. So sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family. This is such a sweet post.

  6. Lizzy I am so sorry to hear this. I really enjoyed learning about your Papa. Thanks for sharing this and hope you're doing well.

  7. I am so glad you decided to share this with us. I truly enjoyed reading it and I hope it brought you a teeny bit of comfort. So sorry for your loss. At the same time, so happy to see that Papa Jack's traits live on!

  8. I'm sorry for your loss. Its so sweet of you to write a post abut him. As someone said above, its nice to see traits of people live on. My mom says I'm a little too much like her mother (my grandmother, MamMa), which I take as a compliment as she was the most generous person I know (but couldnt figure out how to put things together, which is why my mom says I'm like her).

  9. Hugs to you, sweet girl. I'm so sorry.

  10. I'm so sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful post and a wonderful tribute to your grandfather.

  11. so incredibly sorry for your loss. papa sounds like an incredible man.

  12. So sorry! Sounds like he lived a great life, though, and was very loved!

  13. Lizzy, I'm so sorry to you and your family. Your papa was obviously an incredible person and I'm sure someone who has impacted your life forever. This is such a sweet and wonderful tribute - I'm sure he would love this. <3

  14. Oh Lizzy, I'm so sorry for your loss! This post was so touching though, it seems like he was a stand-up, wonderful man.

  15. So sorry about your loss dear! What a lovely post honoring him :)

  16. So sorry for your loss Lizzy, such a beautiful tribute post.

  17. Beautiful words; he sounded like a very special Papa.XOXO

  18. I am so, so sorry Lizzy. This was such a beautiful tribute to your papa. He sounds like an amazing man!