Sunday, December 28, 2008

In Honor of Grandpa..

(this picture was from my cousin Jermey's wedding... It is one of my favorite :)

John Matthew Leonard

12-25-26 ... 12-26-08

Friday night was one of the hardest nights yet this year.... I sat with my Grandpa, gasping trying to get more breaths but you could see how hard it was for him.. My Grandma didn't leave his side.. I knew it wasn't going to be long.... I gave him his usual blessing on his forehead, and a kiss on his cheek, and I did manage to see one eye open just a little bit, and told him I loved him one more time..I knew he knew I was there..

I kept trying to just comfort him, and I find myself choked up... helping my aunts change his bed sheets, trying to make him as much at ease as I can.. he was sweaty, clamy, cold then hot, and I knew it wasn't going to be long. Shortly after leaving his room one more time, I asked my dad, and his brothers and sister to enter the room. It was only them in there... Just the family... I faintly heard my dad, uncles, and aunt say we love you dad. And quickly after, roughly around 8:30 he passed away in the love of his own house and family.

This was the first time I have, in all whopping 25 years of my life, I saw my dad cry. I have seen laughter tears, but nothing like these. I knew he had been the one throughout this time that tried to stay strong, tried to be the rock, and I know now where I get this courage. We all entered the room, everyone present in the house, and cried and laughed, and loved in memories of grandpa. I will never forget how soft his hands were at this time, even though many years prior they were horse with roughness. His knees, from many years of the floor business, used to have permanent indentations, were as soft as a new silk sheet as he lay there.. It is somewhat surreal to think how fast he went, but as I sit here, I know he had a plan to ensure we were all there..

Today was full of meetings from deciding on the songs, to deciding on who will do the readings. It can be overwhelming at times, and I am thankful for my family to be there along the way.. I am trying to get my butt out the door to do a refreshing, and meaningful run.

Even though I know true as day, that this blog is in tribute to my Ironman Journey, but today, for my family and for him, my blog is in honor of John Matthew Leonard, my Grandpa, whom I will never forget. I know he will be with me throughout the many years ahead.


Kevin Wright said...

Jess -

I am sorry to hear about the passing of your grandpa. It sounds like he was a good man, father, and grandfather to all.

My thoughts and prayors are with you and your family!

God Bless...


Mary Sunshine said...

Dear Jess,

Your life is a beautiful tribute to your Grandpa. I'm sure he was very very proud of you.

Sending thoughts and prayers for you and your family.


Cristy Doll said...

Sorry to hear about your grandpa jess. my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!