Happy Birthday, Poppa Max!

This past weekend I had the privilege of joining the other members of my family to pay tribute to my Poppa Max -- my dad's dad -- on the occasion of his 90th birthday. His birthday was way back in April, but he was gracious enough to wait until June to celebrate so that his school-teaching grandchildren and school-aged great-grandchildren could more easily join in the celebration. He has been miserable and in constant pain for several years now and we never know what kind of day he will have. We were so blessed that Saturday seemed to be a good day for him and he thoroughly enjoyed the dozens of people who came out on a steamy summer afternoon to wish him well.

I'm not sure what this stoic look is to mean in this picture, but I love it. Mainly because I love that man to his toes. Sunday afternoon at lunch I had the honor of sitting next to him and just soaking him up. I loved every minute of it. His medication keeps him a little foggy, but bless his sweet heart, he's just as happy as he can be. He fumbled with his plate long enough that I finally just grabbed his fork and said, "let me" -- and I cut some meat into sizes he could manage. I really got a little weepy doing that -- not because we've come so full circle and this pillar of physical and emotional strength now needs help to do anything: eat, dress, walk, etc. No, I was weepy that I was finally doing one of the only things I can do to pay him back for all he's done for me. And it's so little. And it will never be enough. Maybe that's why I love the phrase, "Pay it forward." That's all I can do at this point.

I love these guys to their toes, too. AND the fella in the other yellow shirt who was behind Ashley. I don't know if his eyes were closed so that he got cropped out of this one or what, but it's one of PRECIOUS few pictures we have of the kids looking nice -- no gang signs or eyes rolling or anything.
Lord, give me a little corner of your wisdom and grace to teach them gratitude and to pay it forward.


dad said...

It just happened that your mom and I read this together. Sniff!

Although "Pay it forward" was from a secular-themed movie, I really love the Christian concept. It just says it all. We get uncountable blessings we can't repay to the benefactor, so we just have to pass them along.

This is a great post.

Tammy M. said...

Sarah you look most lovely in these beautiful pictures.

Stephanie said...

I like these pictures too - much more intimate and personal than the standard 'head on' posed family group shots :) (I guess both have their ace, but I'm just right brained that way!)

Roxanne said...

LOVE your hair. . .LOVE the color. . .LOVE the cut. . .and I LOVED looking at the photos you sent. There were some that just SCREAMED Max--one with a certain look on his face that was him twenty some odd years ago when he became my friend and was still golfing daily. :)

What a wonderful day for all of you!

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