Sunday, January 23, 2011

In Honor

Kyle handed me the phone during our first road trip together: "Here," he said. "My Pawpaw wants to say hi."

I was nervous...this was my first interaction with someone from Kyle's family other than his parents and sister. I took the cell phone. "Hello?"

"HI! My name is Huey Garcin and I'm Kyle's Pawpaw." During that first conversation he told me that he loved Kyle very much. He told me a secret he made me promise not to tell...he found out I loved to cook, liked to hunt, and told me that I sounded like a great girl. After our first meeting in person he told me he loved me. What a coincidence....I loved him too.

Pawpaw has had a special place in my heart from the beginning. He was sarcastic, funny, open, and extended the arms of friendship when I was still trying to find a place in Kyle's family. I never felt like I had to be anything other than myself with him. He loved me and called me "Sugar" and put my heart at ease. I could always call him and Mawmaw and he put on a brave voice to tell me "it's been a bad day, but I'm hanging in there."

The last visit I had with him face to face was in the hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana a while back. He was sleepy and slurping jello out of a spoon with a shaky hand, but he still laid down the law and told me some things that I needed to be "making" Kyle do in regards to schooling. It was in that conversation that he told me he thought Kyle and I might "make it" and get married soon. He had insight into the upcoming proposal apparently.....

The last time I heard Pawpaw's voice was over a voicemail on Christmas Eve. I had been out hunting and had no signal. When I got back into service I had a missed call and a message telling me that he "loved me and wished me a happy holiday season with my family." I never got to talk to him again.

We knew Pawpaw was getting worse during Kyle's deployment...and I began to pray. I knew Kyle didn't want the goodbye before he left to be his last visit with Pawpaw. So I begged God not to let Pawpaw go until Kyle was home. And miracle of miracles.....Kyle came home two months early. Just in time to see Pawpaw one last time before God called him home. 

Tonight, Kyle is on his way to Shreveport to be with his family as they plan the memorial service for Pawpaw. I'm wishing I was on my way too. I've cried a lot--I honestly didn't think that he would go this quickly. I hope to get to attend the service, but with demands here and a 12 hour drive in one day, I don't know if I can. I don't know how to be everywhere at once--if you figure that out let me know.

Please remember the Bartlett family in your prayers. Pawpaw was much loved by his precious wife, his two children, and those four grandchildren to whom he always opened his arms for a hug. He was the most loving man and he will be most everyone.

Hug those close to you,

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