Two days ago I received a letter from Kathy, she is the daughter of the man and woman I grew up calling Papa and Grandma Kovich. In the letter she said Papa was not doing well and she did not expect him to be here much longer. She called today to tell me Papa died yesterday. I cannot tell you how sad I am. It is hard to explain because I did not see him a lot since Grandma died (she was the one that kept everyone and everything together), but I am sad.
I have heard stories of me calling the Kovich house when I was three and simply saying, “come get me” and one of them would come pick me up and take me to their house. Grandma would also come to my house, pack my suitcase and take me to the mountains for a week at a time. After my parents divorced and I moved to Miami with my mom, my visits with Grandma were seriously curtailed by the powers that were.
Visiting the Kovich’s was always the highlight of my Christmas, Easter and summer break. Any time I could spend with them was never enough. Grandma was fun, silly and she loved Jesus. Papa was quiet and prayed all the time. My clearest memory of Papa is him kneeling at his bed praying. Their house may have been the only place that I could be myself as a child. Grandma would listen to me and I could cry and cry and cry in front of her and always felt comforted. She brought joy into my life that I did not experience anywhere else. It was a sacred place for me.
We ate at A&W and I always got a plastic, mini root beer mug. She loved Captin D’s and would always bring the hushpuppies home to eat in a bowl of milk. She always ordered the vegetable platter at the 5 and dime where I learned the fine art of removing just a bit of the paper wrapping on the straw and blowing to send the paper cascading across the table right at Grandma. She loved tomato and onion sandwiches. Grandma was known for having very old boxes or cans of food in her pantry. Papa always had beautiful flower gardens and grew delicious berries. He was kind and gentle. I could go on and on.
Grandma and I would travel mountain roads and she would sing about Jesus one minute and take her false teeth out the next and smile real big for passing truck drivers. It was always fun to be with her. One of her jobs was to attach advertisements to mailboxes, so we would drive sometimes for hours and rubber band flyers to mailboxes. It never mattered what we did, we had fun. She had lots of jobs and she always took me with her. I felt important when I was with her and she was important to me.
Todd and I moved to Georgia in 2000 and I was so glad to be closer to Grandma and was thrilled to know I would be able to see her whenever I wanted to, but she passed away one week after we moved here.
Today shortly after I received the call from Kathy a friend called and prayed with me. One thing she prayed was that all the prayers Papa prayed for me would be released and you know it never dawned on me that he was praying for me. That is an amazing thought considering how the Lord has worked in my life, probably as an answer to a lot of those prayers.
This afternoon I remembered Papa comforting me at Grandma’s funeral with these words, “we will see her again one day” and it made me smile to know they are together now. Isabella drew a picture for me this afternoon and it was Papa ascending into heaven with a ray of light shining down and Jesus waiting for him on a cloud. What a gift from my precious daughter that made me smile through the tears.
God blessed me with two wonderful people to step in and grandparent me as my biological grandparents were not capable of doing. Grandma singing, “yes Jesus loves me” still rings in my ears. Jesus does love me and sent me two wonderful people to love me with His love that I needed so desperately growing up.
Usually I am so good at describing how I am feeling, but not tonight. I really cannot put it into words other than – a deep sadness.