Saturday, December 31, 2016

For Poppy


April 14, 1934 - December 28, 2016

They say it's what happens in between the dash that counts and for Anthony Frederick Laurie, better known as Poppy to me and many, the in between is certainly what is remembered. 

It's been a week filled with loss as the country mourns the death of super stars. For our family, we've only been concerned with the loss of one man who never had his name in lights but certainly was the light for all of us.

How do you recount the 82 years one man has lived? It adds up to the memories, the moments, and the impact he has had on all of us.

I often think about how different my life and upbringing would have been had both sets of grandparents not given their lives to the Lord as married adults. For Poppy, it was a transformation that altered the trajectory of him and his family. It now stands as the testament of who he was and is to our family. Our fervent prayer warrior, seen every morning at the kitchen table with his open bible and prayer list. For the past eight years, he's kept a picture of Nanny, his beloved bride of more than 50 years, as his bookmark. How he missed her so but how strong he was to carry on for eight more years after she went ahead of him. His faith has never wavered. His devotion to prayer stands as a pillar of strength to those of us who know all too well that his countless prayers on our behalf have provided answers and miracles we may never know this side of eternity.

It's hard to watch any loved one go, knowing each of our days are numbered, yet selfishly desiring to continue the memory-making and time together here on earth. We had planned to share Christmas with him. It was something our family here had been planning and looking forward to for months. Instead we're now honoring his life, recounting the memories and celebrating the amazing man we still hold dear. 

He was a dedicated and devoted husband. Oh how he loved Nanny, treating her as a queen and serving her in every way imaginable. He was the baby brother and youngest son of five and proud of his Italian heritage. The father to three, grandfather to four and an honorary grandson, plus eight great grandchildren, we're all grieved by the gaping hole he's left behind. Yet we do not mourn as those who have no hope because we know his eternity was secure. As a young married husband and father he met the Lord and gave his heart and life to Christ. He spent the rest of his years living out that commitment and allowing us to be a part of his legacy. 

We each have our stories. We all have different memories of him. The dash in between the years God has given him goes down as the irrevocable tribute to a life committed to his Savior, his selfless love and service of his family (even in his dying breath), his dedicated work ethic, and his gift of music. We're celebrating through our tears, knowing he has met his Savior face-to-face, singing about the joy that comes in the morning - the joy we have despite our mourning - because of the life he lived, the love he's given each of us, and the hope of his eternal rejoicing.

We love you, Poppy. We miss you more than words can explain but we will find peace in knowing you now have eternal joy!

2 comments:

  1. That was beautiful. Makes you happy to rejoyce homecoming not be sad about it. I am sorry for your loss, but rejoyce that he can be with his lord and savior Jeusu Christ and his nanny. May God bless you all.

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  2. I love ya, Friend.
    I love your honesty and transparent heart.
    I love your family and the REAL LIFE that you live.
    You teach me so much. You teach me not to hide my imperfections, but to accept myself as a work in progress. You teach me that regardless, God loves me.
    And yes, I laughed. But I didn't laugh at you. I laughed as I visualized that REAL LIFE happening, every pretty and not so pretty part of it. And I also got a lump in my throat, knowing how quickly VH and EMan will grow up and these will just be memories that carry you.
    Thank you for sharing your family and your heart. And the best part is that you did it for others. You simply amaze me. Thank you.

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