all that glitters IS gold.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

We all know how the Forest Gump quote goes...
"Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get"

Indeed, you do not.

One minute you're in Columbia getting ready for a Carolina game with friends. The next minute you're on the way to Johnson City, TN with your fiance to gather with his family and receive the devastating news that they had lost their precious cousin.

One minute you're looking forward to your wedding in a month, writing thank you notes for fabulous wedding gifts then the next minute you find yourself writing thank you notes for flowers, food, etc...from your father's funeral.

One minute you're ecstatic talking to your granddad [the only grandparent you have left] about the upcoming birth of his first great grandchild. The time they will spend together...the things they will do. The next minute you are told his cancer is back, he goes to hospital then nursing home. Finally losing the battle. Only getting to see his great grandchild twice.

That's life.

[A little background: my father was an only child. Since my grandmother had also passed in 2005, my sister and I gained full responsibility for taking care of him since he was unable to drive and had several strokes/triple bypass surgery/ etc... and was not in the best health. We have taken on this challenge that most do not face until much later in life. It has been an honest privelage to take care of him because as children, he took care of us. He has been our everything. In October 2008 he overcame surgery to remove a cancerous mass in his colon. We joke he has nine lives, because he has been through it all. A man who grew up with 6 roudy brothers, fought for our country in the Korean war - almost losing his life then, having several strokes, triple bypass heart surgery, colon cancer surgery, and also losing his wife and his only son a few years ago. Yet he's never given up. Again, truly amazing. The epitome of a hard-working Christian man who loved his country, his church, and his family.]

Staring death in its grim eye is something I've unfortunately had to do too many times in the 28 years I've been on this Earth. I thought about this the other day: My grandmother Lois Young passed away in 2004), my other grandmother, Sara Hall, in 2005, my grandfather, J.O. Young in 2006, Chad's cousin Drew in 2007, my dad in 2008. Chad's grandfather, Doug McClain in 2009. In 2010, we experienced a miscarriage. Skipped 2011 [Praise the Lord!] but in 2012 we've already had Chad's Uncle Brian (Drew's dad) and now our dear papa has just passed away.

I am a strong person. I rely solely on the Lord for my strength and I know I can get through any situation with Him by my side. But sometimes I really just want to break down and say..."Seriously Lord?"

This photo has been on my fridge for years, where it will stay. It's one of my favorites. I thought the world of my dad and granddad, wanting to be just like them as you can see.

We can't ever question the Lord's plans for us and I know that everything happens for a reason. Why He took my father one month before my wedding, I'll never understand. At least not while on this Earth. Why our sweet papa had to leave us during one of the happiest times of my life - when he's suppose to be enjoying his new great-grandson and while my sister is suppose to be enthusiastically planning a wedding: we don't know.

What we do know and the only thing we are sure of is that they are all in a much better place. The past 6 days have been so chaotic since papa took a turn for the worse, but the one song I kept hearing every time I got in my car was "I'll Give you Peace" by Echoing Angel. If you haven't heard the lyrics to this song, click on the link and listen. We all have such peace about where our loved ones are and we also have such comfort knowing that we will see them again one day. That is the only way we can deal with what we have been through.

Papa and his grandkids on our wedding day, August 2008

Papa's 76th Birthday | July 2010

Papa loved his wife, son, and grandkids more than anything. Since both of my parents were only children, our grandparents spoiled us rotten. I do mean rotten. That's all they had - us two girls - until Will was born several years later. He was spoiled as well. We have been beyond blessed with wonderful grandparents. During the Summer when our parents worked, they practically raised us - keeping us day in and day out.

Papa also thought so much of Chad and Mack and was so pleased to know "his girls" were well taken care of. The last thing he said to Chad was "I appreciate you Chad". Words Chad will never forget.
Papa and "his boys" | September 2011

Papa use to cut up and say things in the hospital like for instance, when I'd tell him I was proud of him for his improvement and doing physical therapy, etc... he'd just look up with a grin and say "You can't keep a good man down". Then he would also warn us that "All that glitters isn't gold", cautioning us to be careful and not get caught up in all of the "keeping up with the jones' of life" (great advice). But now we know that he's finally seeing that all that glitters IS gold in heaven as he walks on those streets with his wife and son, whom he has missed for so many years.

We celebrated his life with a beautiful military service today. Tears streamed down my face as my sister sung a rendition of "I'll Fly Away" All of the sudden the clouds parted and the sun began to shine. Another guardian angel, even for baby Cade.

Words can't even begin to describe how much he will be missed.

In Loving Memory
Charles Wendell Hall, Sr.
July 3 1933 - March 26 2012

"I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith"
2 Timothy 4:7


  1. saying "i'm a strong person" is the understatement of the century. i will never be able to understand every thing you've been through in your life, but i know that i'm blessed to have a such wonderful woman as my best friend.

  2. You & your family are in my thoughts & prayers. Losing a grandparent is not easy at all. You're a strong lady!

  3. sandi, this brought tears to my eyes. such a beautifully written tribute. i am so sorry for your loss. my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  4. Jumping over from Stef's blog.

    Bless your heart and soul.

    Beautiful post!

  5. This was beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss... but he gained so much...walking those gold streets in heaven. He left a huge mark on your life and that is evident. What a blessing to have had such a wonderful relationship and man in your life <3

  6. Here from Beth's blog. What a beautiful post for such a wonderful man. What a wonderful reunion is going on in Heaven!! I will be praying for you and your family. So So sweet.

    It is so crazy when you think about what all God puts us through. We have no idea why, but we know He has a grand plan, if we just keep the faith. Sometimes it's so hard, but it seems like you've mastered it! What a beautiful outlook you have on life!

  7. So very sorry to hear about your loss. Sending prayers to the good Lord for you and your family. Your faith is inspiring, it is truly uplifting to see the strong foundation you have in the Lord. Thank you for sharing your story. Hoping God shower you and your family with His perfect comfort and peace.

  8. Such a beautiful post about your sweet grandfather. I can't imagine going through all of the tragedies you have experienced in the last few years. You are such a strong woman. Praying for you and your family during this hard time.

  9. Beautiful post Sandi. Continuing to pray for you and Courtney.

  10. This was such a sweet post about your grandfather & I cannot imagine how you are feeling right now. You definitely have to be one strong woman to have gone through everything you have. Sending thoughts & prayers your way!! I hope everything takes a turn for the better for you & your family soon! Came across your blog from Beth's. New follower :) P.S.On the bright side, I LOVE your wedding dress. xoxo


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