In a way it's hard to believe it's been two years since we kept vigil in that living room, singing, praying, holding his hands as we clung to his last moments in this world.
But then again, so much has happened since he passed away. Another great grandchild was born and has grown into a precious toddler, Ryan graduated from high school and moved to Austin for college, and life in general has marched onward and upward.
As a family, we have struggled to cope with his absence. We don't know how to face that empty recliner, how to take his seat at the dinner table, where to go for wise words about bikes, cars, sports, and life.
So we're lost.
We'll gather tonight to celebrate our family Christmas. We'll hug our sweet nieces and nephews (and get an extra squeeze from the one who's finally home from Japan for a bit), and we'll eat and laugh and open gifts. The little kids will make Papa's "outer" face, and we'll tell Papa stories and miss him like crazy.
But we'll also thank God for the baby who's the subject of so many of those songs on the radio lately. We'll thank Him for the savior who came so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have eternal life. We will praise Him for taking away that part of the mystery; thank God, we KNOW where Papa is. (Hint: He's not in that Colleyville grave!)
As a family we will always miss Papa and grieve for him, but even though we may be lost without him, we know where Papa can be found.