Lots to catch up on then -
First, the good news:
- I've completed my Master's!
- I've moved to a new home!
- I've gotten my first teaching job!
And, the really sad news that I still have a hard time thinking about:
- My husband lost his father in January.
- I lost my Papaw on April 19th and my Mamaw three days later.
I usually don't post much in the way of personal things on my blog, but I thought maybe it would be a good way to get back into the swing of things by celebrating the good things, mourning the sad things, and appreciating the very precious time my family and I had with these three amazing people.
My father-in-law, Charlie Reinhardt.
He was an incredible grandfather to my two sons and my niece, Megan, and he certainly raised a wonderful son. He welcomed us into his family with open arms and I am so grateful that I got to know him.
My Papaw, Earl Thomas.
I don't even know what to say here. He was the best storyteller in my life. He made me laugh constantly, awed me with his ability to complete a Times' Sunday Crossword, and he loved me unconditionally for my whole life. He called me "Tootle" after the Golden Book about the train of the same name. I used to make him read it to me over and over. When my family was going through his belongings, they found that old story book in his closet; he had kept that book all those years. So much of who I am and what I value is due to him; he loved reading and knowledge and dry humor and history. I love him, and always will.
My Mamaw, Mabel Crouch.
I lived with my Mamaw for a year after my Papaw Everett passed away. During that year, she taught me to play the guitar, how to do a proper bluegrass harmony vocal, and how to truly walk what you talked. Not that I always do all of those things; she was the only one I knew who could pull them off seamlessly. She raised nine children, even more grandchildren, and touched the lives of everyone who knew her. She was always incredibly kind, always full of love, always thinking of her family, and always praying. My Mamaw was incredibly talented; she could pick any stringed instrument and absolutely make it sing. Saying I miss her seems like a gross understatement, but it's the best I can do.
I still have both my Mamaw's and my Papaw's phone numbers saved in my iPhone's contact list. Isn't it weird how technology affects our idea of permanence? Because I can't bring myself to delete their phone numbers, and don't know if I ever will.
Here is to a new year, knowing that my father-in-law, my Mamaw and Papaw would be so proud of what I've accomplished and also knowing that so much of my ability to accomplish these things are due to their love and influence.