As many of you know by now my granddad Ralph A. Barrett passed away on Monday afternoon around 2:00 PM after several weeks of declining health. We are thankful that he is no longer suffering and is finally at peace. My dad, Danny, is doing well, but could use prayers for strength during this time. Please also keep my extended family in your prayers as well.
The family visitation and services will be tomorrow afternoon, Wednesday November 26th at Washington Street United Methodist Church. Visitation will be from 1-2 PM and the funeral will be at 2 PM in the church. Internment will follow at Greenlawn Cemetary. The obituary will run in Wednesday’s The State Newspaper and the notice has run in today’s paper. My family has requested that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to the New Kirk Presbyterian Building Fund (c/o New Kirk Presbyterian Building Fund, 7 Tarnside Court, Blythewood, SC 29016).
I know that as the family gathers tomorrow – the cousins – we will have lots of silly laughs about our Christmases and Thanksgivings together. We are a small family, there are only 4 grandchildren of which I am the oldest and my brother Matthew is the only boy. Robyn is the second oldest and Barrett is the baby – but only by a few months. We all grew up in Columbia and live very busy lives, but Dad always tried to be at the “important” events. And we always got together with him for the holidays.
Matthew, Katie, Robyn, Barrett, Mason @ Dad’s house, Christmas 2005
I was looking this morning at my pictures in my living room, one of which is a picture of Mason and I on our wedding day with Dad on one side and Nana (my mom’s mom) on another side. It’s amazing to me how much we age in four years. And it’s amazing to me how we protect ourselves from letting our grandparents age too much. I still keep both Dad and Nana in their younger, spritely 60s. Despite me watching them as they age, there is something in my mind that still thinks that they can move and live the way they did when I was younger.
Dad had been declining in health a lot over the years since I was married, but especially in the past 6 months. He was moved from his retirement home to a nursing home, and then to the hopsital and to Hospice on Sunday. He passed on Monday afternoon after finding peace, and we belive seeing my grandma, Mom/Ellen, and many of his friends waiting on him. It is a sweet ending to a not-so-sweet last few months of life. My surrogate grandma and his longtime girlfriend and love, Nelle, was with him as he passed. We truly are thankful that those two spent the last few moments together.
I have some sweet memories that I hope to keep with me, and I am blessed to have had two grandparents to grow up with. I am glad that the four of us got to know him as we grew older, and that he was able to see at least one of his grands get married. Sadly, he passed before any great-grands were born. I am glad to have had such a special relationship with Dad…sometimes being the oldest does have it’s perks. And I know that it will be fun to laugh about Christmas beef sticks and much more when we gather together tomorrow and Thursday for the services and Thanksgiving. This will be our first Thanksgiving without Dad, so things will be different at the table, but we’ll all do our best to keep the good memories alive.
Rest in peace, Dad, and give Mom a great big hug from her grandbaby. I love you, Dad.