Wednesday, September 18, 2013


And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. 
1 Peter 5:10

He came into our lives driving a pretty little sports car and carrying Starburst. I would say that he "breezed" into our lives, but Sonny never breezed anywhere. A whirlwind of business, he never really floated. (My mama would say the way he came in slamming the door and walking/stomping down the hall, breezed was definitely not the right word.)
The morning after we met him for the first time, Anna asked Mama if they were going to get married. I was not as quickly taken by Sonny. He shook up my little world where I had my mama all to myself.

They married two months after having met for the first time, twenty-one years ago. I learned last week that Sonny was in a hurry to marry her because he didn't want her to know about tax season before she was committed and she said she didn't want him to know what her life with three kids was really like. I'm sure the newness wore off and we rocked his little world (and his home with bright white carpet that we moved into).

Sonny and I spent a lot of time butting heads. A lot alike in a lot of ways, he and I didn't want to give in and let the other be the boss. I got a lot of lectures throughout middle and high school about how I wasn't "applying myself" and needed to buckle down and work harder in school. All I wanted to do was hang out with my friends and his lectures were preventing me from that. He tolerated a lot from me as a pre-teen and teenager who was bossy. He has laughed that James is my pay-back.

Sonny was a fixer. He wanted the best for everyone that he knew. After all his failed attempts to get me to "apply myself" and work harder in high school, I failed to get into Georgia my senior year when it was application time. I was miserable and embarrassed and at a time when I normally would have run to my mama, I ran to him. I sat in his office for a long time that afternoon and just cried and cried. Eddie makes fun of me now, but Sonny was trying his darnedest to think of someone he could call to "fix it." He didn't (how much more embarrassing would THAT have been?!?), but he sat and listened and we formulated a new plan that worked out better for me anyway - ABAC for a year and then transfer to UGA. I've always been so thankful for that extra year at home.

Years later, when Eddie and I were married and announced we were expecting our first baby, Sonny was THRILLED. Before James was born he picked out four books for him. A Peter Rabbit book, a numbers and counting book, No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, and a Kumon counting money book that was for ages 5-7. I have laughed and laughed about that book.

Poppy was a fabulous granddaddy. My boys loved him and never doubted that they were loved in return. A man that was a self-proclaimed "workaholic," he dropped his work and ran if we were in town. His assistant, Sharon, calls James and Will "the VIPs," and I was told more than once last week that people at the office considered taking up money to pay ME to bring the boys by because they changed his demeanor so much.

We lost Poppy on September 8th early in the morning after we'd all been with him through the night. He fought hard for three weeks but unfortunately things were just working against him. I am so, so grateful for so many things this summer - namely our family Disney World trip and our short, last-minute trip to St. Augustine. We will miss Poppy so, so much. He has popped up in so many places recently. James has asked lots of questions and tells his favorite stories about Poppy often. We have loved hearing people tell their favorite "Sonny stories." We have looked at pictures and more pictures. We have laughed and we have cried. He's gone, but definitely not forgotten.

"Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind." C.S. Lewis


kellimoss said...

What a sweet post!! I'm so sorry for your family's loss. i love that C.S. Lewis quote! Saying a prayer for y'all :)

Meggie said...

So, so sorry. Praying for your family. Beautiful post.

Lauren said...

Tears. Such a wonderful tribute for a great guy - and one who was called home much sooner than everyone would have liked. He must have been needed there more than here. xo and prayers for your fam.

pcb said...

What a lovely tribute, Lauren.

Melissa said...

Beautiful post and tribute to him. So sorry for your family's loss. You will be in my prayers.

Sally said...

I'm sure this was a difficult post to write. It is easy to see in the pictures how much love he had for all of you and especially your boys. A lovely tribute to a sweet man.

Bechtel Family said...

Beautiful post! Brought tears to my eyes! So sorry for your loss! Praying for you during this difficult time!

The Morrows said...

This is such a sweet post! He sounds like a wonderful person.
So glad you can see him again one day. Praise God for that hope!