For most Americans, today is a sad day. It is the 10th anniversary of the terrible events that took place on September 11, 2001. If you are like me, you have been watching memorial services and documentaries that have been broadcast on almost every major network all day and the memories of our own experiences on 9-11 have come flooding back. I don't know if it will ever be easy to watch the footage of the planes hitting the WTC, the buildings falling to the ground, and all the personal stories of those who were directly affected by the terror of that day. I hope not. It shouldn't be easy to watch. But today I'm sad for a bigger reason. While my heart hurts for our country, it is breaking even more because today my family had to say goodbye to a wonderful man - my Pappy.
Pappy is my grandfather, my dad's dad. I have so many fun memories of him from the time I was a child and visiting my grandparents in State College all the way up to the last time I saw him at my dad's house on August 4th. He always had a smile on his face and knew how to make those around him smile, too. I always felt loved when I was with him - loved and very secure. And I have so enjoyed watching my own kids interact with him and seeing how much he loved all of his great-grandchildren. All twelve of them! It was a special thrill when Dixon was born on Pappy's birthday, April 27th, and then a year later one of my cousins had her little girl on that day as well. His birthday - and his life - will certainly never be forgotten.
So it is with a particularly heavy heart that I grieve not only with our country and all that was lost ten years ago today, but also with my family for the loss of a great man in our lives. I pray that he has been welcomed into God's heavenly kingdom and is healthy and strong once again, happy, laughing, and reunited with those whom entered Paradise before him. I miss you already, Pappy, and love you very much.