Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Goodbyes and hard questions

It was a sad day on Monday as Kyle's Papa passed away. We were fortunate enough to be able to spend the weekend in Hillsboro, holding his hand and saying goodbye. He was one tough cookie who had a very soft spot in his heart for his grandchildren (17) and great grandchildren (15 - Carter and Kennedy were #13 & 14). His love for them was ever apparent.

Meeting Carter for the first time - 4 generations of Phelans

Father's Day 2009

Papa and his two youngest great grandchildren, Bennett and Kennedy, at Easter

Papa and Kennedy, who according to him was the most beautiful baby he'd ever seen. "And I've seen a lot of babies."

I have found it extremely difficult to answer all of Carter's questions regarding Papa's illness and death. I want to be fully honest and am amazed at some of the questions and thoughts he has regarding this topic. I want to capture them here just to highlight how much he loved his great grandfather and also how insightful a three year old can be. Here are some tidbits from our conversations these past few days: "How come God wants Papa to live with him?" "How far away is heaven? And can we go and visit him there?" To which I replied that we couldn't visit but that we'd see him again some day, and he said, "But I'll miss him." "Will Papa have to climb a very tall ladder to get to heaven or can he just take an airplane?" I am trying to take this opportunity to teach Carter about the strength of Jesus Christ and the ever present love of God. Although, as most people know, faith is hard for many adults to wrap their minds around so trying to explain it to a toddler is quite the challenge. I am grateful for his curiosity and thankful that his life was blessed for three years with the love of his great-Papa. We love you Papa and we'll miss you!


  1. Oh Katie. I'm so sorry. This post very much touched me. I'm sorry for Kyle, sorry for your kids and all that loved him. It was a year ago this month my grandfather passed and time has healed but we still miss him so. The way you explained his love for his children and grandchildren is exactly how we felt about my dear gpa. Thinking of you guys during this difficult time. Love to you both. Give your kids squeezes. Vacation next week, but let's try to schedule a play date soon. xoxo

  2. Katie, I'm sorry to hear about your family's loss...its very difficult, we were just there. I'm thinking of you guys.