What’s saving my life this week.

This week my friend Sarah Bessey asked the question at her blog: What’s saving your life right now?

Pawpaw and Memaw, with my aunt Rita in 1947

Grief is a strange thing, isn’t it? It’s so deep and wild and untamable. And it wakes up whenever it wants to and leaves you with your face in your hands in the dark bedroom on the side of the bed while your kids in the other room watch a show (again). We all loved my grandfather. He was a special man. And his loss has cut me deeper than I expected it to. I guess that’s usually how it goes, right?

So what’s saving my life this week has been good Texas Baptist family meals. One after another: friends of my grandmothers, friends of my parents, friends of my brothers have been bringing food to my grandmother’s house. So. Much. Food. All of it organized by my amazing sister-in-law Aimee and carb-loaded and just the way Baptists are supposed to eat when they lose their patriarch:

Fried chicken and potato casserole, green bean casserole and homemade mac and cheese, bread bread and more bread. Ham and corn and more green beans. Strawberry cake and chocolate cake and yellow cake with chocolate icing and brownies and cookies and red velvet cupcakes. And the chance to have long conversations about Pawpaw at the table with our Styrofoam plates and my cousins across the table.

What’s saving my life is the long hugs shared with cousins who I’ve barely seen in years but who understand how deep this loss is.

What’s saving my life are the dear friends of my grandparents from the Ex-POW club in Amarillo who honored my grandfather by wearing their matching POW vests and saluting his casket. They cried with my grandmother, even the men. And I’m grateful for the way they love her.

What’s saving my life are my father’s tears.

What’s saving my life this week was the four-police escort and the way Amarillo folks know the kindness of stopping their cars along the road and honoring the faceless grievers in their cars.

What’s saving my life this week was the presentation of the flag to my grandmother by the military and Taps played behind us at the graveside. Honor is saving my life right now: the way they honored my grandmother, the way they honored my grandfather.

What’s saving my life this week is that I have two brothers who know how we loved him. I haven’t gotten to cry with them often in my life, but this week I have. And how can I not call that a gift?

What’s saving my life this week is my husband who loved my grandfather too, who cried all the way to the graveside and couldn’t get out the words to tell August why Pawpaw was so special the police had come to help us drive to the cemetery.

What’s saving my life right now are my brothers’ words they offered in the eulogy. Never have I heard such honor given, never such beauty in a funeral service.

What’s saving my life this week was Brooksie sleeping from 7 to 7 last night and giving me 9 hours of deep sleep.

I’m back home in Austin today. Thanks for praying for us this week. Your prayers have been saving my life.

  • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

    Praying with you right now….

  • http://www.spiritualglasses.me Jennifer Upton

    I have loved reading your words this afternoon. I could smell that Baptist food in my mind as I read along with your menu. I love meeting people through story whom see life, even in sad times through such a beautiful lens. Thank you for sharing such a time as this with us, strangers along the way. I have found that we are all more alike than we think we are. Much love to you!

  • http://www.leahcolbeck.com Leah Colbeck

    I’m sorry for the loss of your beloved Grandfather. Glad you have so many things saving you in the midst of it.

  • http://phyllislorenzmft.com phyllis lorenz

    Praying for you and your sweet family. It is so difficult to lose such a vital influence (in the numerous ways you have mentioned) in one’s life. What a wonderful, sweet, and funny, man/ patriarch. I imagine somehow that mixed in with the tears was plenty of laughter, remembering a life well lived and loved.

  • http://annieathome.com Annie

    Praying for your heart, Micha, and all the hearts your sweet Pawpaw made soul imprints on, as you grieve and remember and gather up these gifts. Lots of love to you all.

  • http://realconversationsbetweenfriends.blogspot.com Ann Ehlert

    Praying. Very grateful that you had such a great person in your life.

  • http://lettersfromthestreet.wordpress.com Dr. Bruce

    Very sweet; thank you.

    In the movie “Shadowlands”, about the life of C.S. Lewis, there is as wonderful scene in which he and his wife take a road trip during a remission of her cancer. He has a hard time talking with her about her illness and pending death. She says “The sadness then is part of the happiness now.” Then at the end of the movie, after she has died, he says in voice-over “The happiness then is part of the sadness now.” These are wise words.

    I found, when my father died nine years ago, that it was a great comfort to me to think that I would not hurt so much from the loss had I not loved him so much. Would I trade less love for less hurt? A thousand times no. If the pain now is the price of the love then, I will pay in full without complaint.

    I saw my father in a dream last week. He was in his fifties again, happy and almost radiant, and in a spiffy new suit. It’s good to see him like that every now and then.

    What a gift for you, to have such lovely family and friends.

  • Debbie Grace

    I grew up in Amarillo and it so warms my heart to hear of how they are kindly helping to hold your grieving heart.
    Love and prayers are flowing from here, too . . .

  • http://fionalynne.com/blog/ fiona lynne

    “Grief is so deep and wild and untamable.” Yes.
    So sorry for your loss and so touched by the snapshots you share of your grandfather and the family and community that loved him so.

  • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

    If I lived closer, I would bring you Grandma Betty’s cheesy potatoes with all that cheddar and sour cream and the potato chips on top. We’d eat at least half of it, straight out of the casserole dish, while you told me all about PawPaw. Loved this. Love you.

    • michaboyett

      cheese + potatoes + chips on top = the best kind of healing

      Thanks friend.

  • http://www.sarahbessey.com Sarah Bessey

    This made me sad and hopeful, and it even made me laugh, Micha. Bless you and your grandfather. Gorgeous, as always.

  • http://jennieallen.com Jennie Allen

    Sweet friend- I am praying and so sorry for your loss.

  • Michelle

    Ive just recently started following you; your writing style pulls me in, keeps me suspended and gently lowers me back to earth. Thank you for sharing your world. I’m deeply sorry for your families loss, PawPaw sounded like a beautiful person.

  • Pingback: {This Sacred Everyday} PawPaw’s Last Painting

  • http://www.leighkramer.com HopefulLeigh

    Oh, Micha. I’m so sorry for your loss. As one well acquainted with grief, I get all this and yet it is so uniquely your experience, your loss. Keep clinging to these things in the coming days and weeks. We need those little whispers of God’s presence when we’re in the valley.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X