Tuesday, May 24, 2011

the challenging part of life

Losing a family member is never easy, nor is there a great time for someone to pass away. Nevertheless, it happens- sometimes you know it is coming and sometimes it is when you least expect it.

This past weekend, my grandfather Frank Baronne, Jr. passed away at the age of 85 in Baton Rouge. Papa, as we called him, was my mother's father. He had been in poor health for the past year or two and I guess you could say we could see the writing on the wall. Even though we knew he was in poor health, it was still a surprise for him to pass away this weekend. Thankfully my cousin, Nathan, was with him. Nathan and Papa prayed right before he passed.

(This picture was taken in May of 2010)

A few interesting things happened in conjunction with his passing. On Friday night I was heading out to visit A-Ball as she had a short overnight in Nola. I got to her hotel around midnight (now Saturday) and was sitting in the lobby waiting for her to arrive. As I sat there, I prayed for Papa. I asked God to let Papa not be in pain and to let him go peacefully. I prayed for him to have no more suffering. I found out later that he passed away around the time I was praying for him. I also found out that my Aunt Carolyn was praying at the exact same time as me - and praying the exact same thing.

Twenty minutes later, I received a phone call from my cousin, Nathan, that Papa had passed away. I notified my siblings, but could not get in touch with my parents as Dad had accidently left the phone unplugged in their bedroom. At 1:20 am I decided to drive to Hammond to tell them the sad news. As soon as I got on the elevated interstate past Kenner, I looked up and saw a huge, beautiful shooting star. I am pretty sure that shooting star was for me. I made a wish for Papa and continued my drive to Hammond.

As you can imagine, the rest of the weekend passed in a blur.

The funeral was yesterday (Monday, May 23) in Baton Rouge. It is always great to see family even for the saddest reason. I really do have an amazing family. My mom was amazing and strong. She is an amazing woman and I am very proud of her.

A few years ago I had Papa's WWII metals and dog tags framed. We displayed them at his funeral. I really think everyone enjoyed the display we had for him.
His obituary:

After all this, I truly believe he is in a better place. He is no longer in pain, nor is he suffering. At the end, he was no longer afraid of dying like he was just a year before. He was ready to be with God and I am confident he is in Heaven right now. Even though you know someone belongs in Heaven, it still does not stop you from missing them or mourning their death. I know I will not see Papa again on Earth, but I will see him again in Heaven (assuming I get there as well :)).

A special thanks to everyone who sent thoughtful words and love. I really appreciate your support and encouragement.

Rest in Peace Papa. Love, Lizzie

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