I got to spend the day with Anna Roan today. Yes, I spent a lot of time with Lisa, and I held Julia a lot. But most of my day was spent talking to, playing with and marveling over my 3-year-old granddaughter. Anna Roan is amazing. She never meets a stranger, and although sometimes she can be very quiet, most of the time she is constantly talking. We did a lot of things today. Playing ball in her room, going shopping, riding tricycles, you name it and I think we did it. I spent a lot of time holding her, and I loved every minute of it.
You see, this is fairly new for me. As much as I know she loves me, I was always the second one she would come to after her Nana. Nana loved Anna Roan, and Anna Roan loved her Nana. She would run to her, and always want her to help her. Yes, I was there, and she loved me, but I knew where I stood, right behind Nana. I loved it that way. I really enjoyed watching Julia react to all our grandchildren. Julia was always bright and cheerful, well almost always. Any way, she always loved to be with her granddaughters. She loved to by them presents. She loved to sew for them, and take them places. In fact, Lisa said that one of Anna’s dresses had lost a button, and Anna said that her Nana would have to fix it. Lisa reminded her that Nana was in heaven and wouldn’t be able to sew it. Anna told her mom, “That’s OK, we will just have to get Papa to do it”. I laughed pretty hard when I heard that. But in many ways that is what is happening. I find myself taking more of an interest in the kids. I’m trying to help Lisa whenever I can. I can sense that Anna is drawing closer to me, and that’s the way it should be. I really want to be able to pick up the slack of Julia’s absence with the kids. I know that I will never replace Nana. I certainly don’t want to. I just want to be the best Papa I can be, and be there for them as much as I can.
I was talking with Anna Roan in her room this afternoon. I had been reading her a book. She pointed at her slippers and said “Nana gave them to me”. I said I know. She said “Nana’s in Heaven, and some day we will be with her.” I smiled and said “Yes we will, but right now we need to be here with each other. But she can see us. In fact she is looking down from heaven watching us play right now.” She smiled and said yes. We continued on playing. I know that things are always different, but right then; I could see that she did miss her Nana, but she also has accepted that she is in Heaven with Jesus, and she will be there with her some day. Right now my task is to love my kids and my grandkids. It is to listen, laugh and sometimes cry with them. I am learning to understand that everyone grieves differently, and that’s OK. I just try to continually point them to God, and remind them of how good God is. It’s fun being a Papa, even without Nana.
Time is going by so fast here in Mobile. Tomorrow’s Friday and it will be near 60 degrees! That’s great, it will probably feel like summer. I will probably leave early Sunday morning. I work on Monday, and I would like to be able to make church on Sunday evening. I spent a lot of time showing Anna Roan pictures on my computer this afternoon. I saw a lot of pictures of Julia with all the grandchildren. They brought back a flood of memories, and I left with a smile on my face, knowing and so thankful for all that I had, and still have.