Hi everyone,

This is just a short note on the anniversary of my mother's (memaw) death to say thank you for your support, kind words and sympathy throughout this last year.

We are hopeful that the passing of Daddy (pepaw) last week has allowed Sam and Phyllis to be together again. It has been a totally different experience with the loss of my dad, because instead it felt like we needed to celebrate because the pain and suffering he has had in the last year had finally come to an end. We were so grateful to God for finally allowing him to move on and be in a better place. The end came peacefully in his sleep and I was very close by, but sleeping myself. He finally figured out what he needed to do to get what he wanted and we were all happy for him in the end.

The days that have followed have been a wonderful exploration of our parent's life together. They gave us so much and taught us so many things about life, love, business and family. They provided us with so many beautiful memories of times together.

My dad especially as we look back was an explorer and provided us with so many opportunities to see the world and enjoy life. It's funny how narrow your vision is when you are dealing with the hassles of old age and watching someone through their final years give up so much that they have had in life. It seems that in old age and illness we give up life's little precious things we take for granted such as independence, humility, vanity, ownership, leadership, etc. And then we have to appear happy about it or we are considered a grouchy old person. Well in his 94 years my pop had many moments of being a little grouchy as he surrendered to giving up things one by one. But during his last year he became meek and humble and surrendered his life to God.

In our life with Sam none of us ever doubted his love for us and his ability to provide for us. In his lifetime he offered our family so many opportunities to be together as family and extended family in beautiful places from seashore to riverfront to big cities to far away places of our heritage as well as in the workplace. He truly was a traveling soul and a wonderful navigator and lover of life in spite of his fussiness in expressing his expectations of us from time to time.

I guess I have gotten a little wordy with this, but 94 years is a long time. I just want to say to all of you that in looking back I am learning that so many things happen in a lifetime of a giver. In the end we will all be takers, some of us may take more than others. But as you give to those that have given to you be aware of the total picture during this time of giving and thank them for all they have done for you. No matter what, once they are gone you will begin to see the total picture and know that the amount you give in their end will be minimal compared to what they have given to others in a lifetime.

God Bless you all with this journey!



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