Last week, we got a call that Papa wasn't doing well. He had been in and out of hospitals lately and had finally taken a turn for the worst. The doctors told the family 24-28 hours. We hurried to his side that night.
Our time with him was bittersweet. We sat with him, held his hands, told him how much we loved him and how proud we are to be a part of his family. We told him how proud we are to carry the Charlebois name, and that we plan to name our firstborn son after him. JP recounted some of his fondest memories of times they spent together, including when Papa taught him how to crack a whip and fillet a fish.
Rae painted a picture for Papa and the Aunts hung it on his wall where he could see it. Rae also sang a few songs to Papa, and he smiled and told her how beautiful it was. We brought Rosie in to him, his youngest great-grandbaby, and he held her tiny hand in his. At one point, Papa even sat up in bed (even though he was in no condition to do so) and JP joked with him, "Are you trying to go to the store for a beer, Papa?" Papa smiled and somehow managed to reply, "Rum and Coke!"
Papa & his bride of 62 years, holding Rosie
Papa was an amazing man, fully devoted to the Lord, his family, and especially his loving bride of 62 years, Nana. Both of my grandfathers died when I was young, and we lived so far away from them that my memories of them are dim at best. So when I married into a family with such a wonderful patriarch, it was easy to take him as my own grandpa. He always treated each and every one of us as his most prized and cherished possessions, because to him, his family was the most beautiful thing he had ever laid eyes on.
He ALWAYS had time to play with his great-grandkids. Look at the smile on Ava's face!It's hard to imagine what life will be like without Papa. My heart aches to think of a family gathering without him. He always brought his biggest smile and best jokes. But we are so thankful for the hope of eternal life, and that Papa is home with his Savior, free from pain and the suffering of this world.
We love you, Papa, and we'll see you again.