God is so good. When I left to go overseas, I was blessed to still have had all FOUR of my Grandparents alive. Since they all were over 80 years old, I knew there was a good chance that one of them would pass away while we lived overseas. Therefore, leaving them in 2008 was extremely difficult for me. However, all four were still living when I returned back to the States and I was even able to spend some special time with each one of them!
I knew that my Mom's dad, Big Joe, had been really sick and had been rather confused at times. We were able to visit him and Nana when we went to my cousin's wedding in August. We had a wonderful time, he was actually really alert, and I loved seeing his tender face look at my little ones. About a month after this visit, he slipped into a coma and passed away several days later. Oh my goodness, I miss him more than words can say. I still can hear his sweet laugh and see his big smile.
Ironically, he was in the best physical shape of all my Grandparents. He played basketball for the University of Kentucky under Adolf Rupp, and won an NCAA Championship in 1948. He even went on to start an NBA team called the Indianapolis Olympians (which doesn't exist anymore). After his basketball days were over, he became an avid golfer. He had NINE hole-in-ones in his lifetime! Amazing.
Oh Big Joe, I miss you so much! I am most thankful that you loved Jesus Christ and can rest knowing I'll see you one day in heaven :)
Here are a few pictures from my visit with them in August...It was hard to see him so skinny like this.
Our last picture together.
As soon as my Mom heard Big Joe was getting really sick, she drove to be with him. She had a few short moments with him before he slipped into a coma that he never woke from. My Mom is the best daughter he could have asked for as she stayed with her parents until her Dad finally passed away, about 9 days later. My Mom and Nana were sitting at his bedside when he died.
The Legacy he left behind.
There were many flowers sent in his honor, but my favorites were the Chevy sign (because he was a Chevrolet dealer) and the golf bag.
LOVE YOU BIG JOE!