I got to know you for 32 years.
And in the last 8 short months, Cancer took you from me. Just swooped in & stole you from our lives. To say I am mad is putting it lightly. Papa… you will be missed.
I was blessed with 4 incredibly wonderful & involved grandparents. Although I have been through this experience once before… it doesn’t make it any easier the second time around. But I will say that I feel grateful that you were so involved in our lives… and for that alone – saying good-bye is going to be so damn hard.
And although you won’t be physically with us anymore… you will remain present through the memories past & moments to come. Your grandchildren, all adults now, will cherish everything you have done for us while we share stories with your great-grandchildren. Don’t you worry Papa… they will know you.
I like to say your were a bad ass on the outside, but a sweet soul on the inside. You always wanted to see us succeed and you were always there to help make sure that happened. School Events. Sporting Events. Weddings. The birth of our children. When we got a job. When we just needed a hand.
You encouraged & you taught. Your wood working skills were so incredible. You honestly could build anything …anything. How lucky are we all to have so many “Perry Ishman” original pieces displayed throughout our homes. How lucky are we to have those constant reminders of our Papa.
Because of your rough outside appearance, some were afraid of you. One particular story I will tell my son for years to come… happened a little over a year ago while we were celebrating Mother’s Day. Jude was just shy of one year old & he talked… a lot. No one really quite knew what he was saying, but that didn’t bother him from telling you what he was thinking. Jude sat out on the porch that day, with the men of our family, and had an engaging conversation with you, his Papa. 45 minutes of conversation that no one understand but Jude. He talked to You as if you were his best friend for years, laughing like he understood the whole conversation. My sweet boy, I am so thankful for this special moment… because it was moments like this Papa lived for.
You and Grandma were married for 55 years. Again, how blessed am I to have this example of marriage laid out for me to watch. You had disagreements. You had moments of conflict. But, you had love. You balanced each other out & you worked hard at your marriage. There is an old saying that a bride marries someone like her father. I laugh at this… because I think of my Papa as a smart – ass sometimes…. and (Sorry) Dad but I think of you like this as well… and (sorry) Babe, but you follow suite too. Regardless, I strive to work with my husband in our marriage & I would call us lucky to celebrate our 55th wedding anniversary one day.
As I fight back the tears, I remind myself that God is in control. Still.. I am going to miss our visits and miss watching Jude make you laugh… but I know that you are in your new Heavenly body, free from pain and free from worry. I know you miss us, as we do we you… but I know one day I will see you again. I can’t wait to be greeted with the usual, “Hi Britts” (or “Hi Hun”) & a kiss.
Thank you for the memories, the lessons learned, the encouragement… thank you for being you… always offering a beer regardless of the time of day, the poor spelling that I’m pretty sure I got from you, and the sarcastic remarks… thank you for being present in your family’s lives. We love you. We will remember you always. May you rest in peace.