Dear Paul

February 21, 2009 | 12 comments

You’ve been there exactly four weeks now, Paul. You’ve been a resident of Heaven for a whole month.

I was right there with you when you exchanged residency. So peaceful, you were, as you took your last breath here on Earth.

What was it like to go there?

You belong to a club that I’ll join someday. I have the membership card, but it’s hard to imagine what it will be like to walk in that first time. Do you just drop to your knees, or were you kicking up your legs, like you did on that Marco Island beach with your flippers and plaid swim-shorts? (Please tell me they don’t have plaid swim-shorts where you live now.)

Things are different here. We miss you terribly, you know.

I went by your grave the other day in my new van. I put the van in park, rolled down the window all the way and turned up “Glory in the Highest” to VOLUME MAX. Did you hear it?

Oh, to hear the sounds you hear now.

Anna said she’s certain you’ve been talking to her. She said you told her that you got the balloon she sent you. I have to confess, Paul, that part of me didn’t believe her at first. But now I know it’s true. She can’t stop talking about what you told her. And I want to thank you for giving her that gift: a whisper in the ear of a 4-year-old.

Lydia misses you, too. You were her mud-pie, tea-party buddy. She’s been doing great in first grade, still doing amazing in spelling. You’d be so proud, “Bop.” She had the word “ridiculous” on her spelling test this week. Made me think of those plaid swim-shorts.

You’d be proud of your son, too. This will be his first planting season without you. But he doesn’t feel alone. He says you’re everywhere. You’re in every tractor, every barn. He senses you in every tool he picks up, every turn he makes in the pickup. He loves you.

So do I.

Happy one-month anniversary, Paul.

Love, Jennifer

by | February 21, 2009 | 12 comments


  1. God's Not Finished With Us Yet...

    My husband and I promised not to be online all weekend but then a depressed friend of mine called to tell me to read her email, which got me back to the computer this morning early.

    Jennifer, again, I am so sorry about your loss and what you have gone through. You have such a beautiful, great way of showing your love and excitement for Paul’s new beginning with Christ. I’m sooooo sorry it hurts. So sorry. I’m here for you if you ever need. I’m not perfect; but I’m here. Love ya,

  2. janelle

    I have no words – I just want you to know (in case you don’t already), that I care.

    Love to all of you.

  3. Carey

    What a wonderful post, Jennifer. Wow. And the balloon? Wow again.

    I’m glad you’re to the point that you can show funny pictures of Paul, even tho it still hurts like heck. I don’t know if God gives us a window to Earth when we’re in Heaven or not, but if he does, I’d bet Paul’s laughing at that picture!

  4. The Unknown Contributor

    I find it beautiful the way you are mourning and celebrating at once in your letter. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  5. Freedom in the Dance

    It is a bittersweet feeling, isn’t it, when the ones we love are up there and are knowing fully and that makes us happy for them, but then to not be able to touch, hold, share, laugh and cry together. I feel your pain as I think daily of our friend gone since Jan. 12th. At times, I have to convince myself that he’s really gone. But you were able to experience his leaving, and that’s a gift.
    I celebrate with you as we yearn together for the fulness of Life to completely swallow up death!

  6. Darlene

    This post is so beautiful. Is that a picture of Paul? Just IMAGINE how he must be dancing!

  7. Billy Coffey

    There aren’t a lot of things I read that tear me up. This one did. Mourning with you, joyful for him.

  8. sharilyn

    a wonderful yet sad post, jennifer. it is such an odd combination when one we loves goes to heaven–we rejoice for them and grieve the loss of their physical presence in our lives. this was a lovely tribute to your father-in-law.

    one of my best friends went to be with the Lord last June, and sometimes i miss her so much. it can be a random thing that triggers it–this time for me was a new tyler perry movie coming out. she used to have me watch them with her…and she would laugh uproariously! i saw an ad the other day and couldn’t help but think that we should go see it together…and then, oh yeah… well, she would’ve wanted to.

    i’m glad we have the comfort of the Spirit and the joy of knowing we’ll be with our loved ones again…may that bring peace to your heart today…

    and maybe my friend, Andie, is hanging out with Paul today… she was always good for a laugh! 🙂

  9. Carol

    OH,Jennifer. You amaze me. I know everyone probably gets sick of me talking about my Mom, but I KNOW exactly what Scott is saying…SHE is in every fabric and scrap of wood she gave me, in every flower and blade of grass. It does get easier, but I still love to go to the cemetery and turn up the radio full blast…as if she needs earthly music???? Anyway, love you, understand with you, cry with you. Carol

  10. Nikki B.

    So bittersweet. Bitter because he’s no longer with you and us here on earth, but way more Sweet in the way that he’s up there dancing and singing with the angels! Truly touched my heart today, and made me think of my Grandpa who’s there too! Still makes me sad when I think of him, or when we sing “How Great Thou Art” which was one of his most favorite hymns, but I rejoice in knowing that it is only temporary and I will see him one day in heaven and laugh with him once again! I can tell you have that same joy and hope!

  11. Chris Godfredsen

    And Paul would have been proud of his son on Sunday, as his son challenged a room full of guys to go after their fathers, to make any amends that need making and to work on their relationships!

    So blessed by this post, you and yours! Remaining in prayer!!!

  12. Chris Godfredsen

    And Paul would have been proud of his son on Sunday, as his son challenged a room full of guys to go after their fathers, to make any amends that need making and to work on their relationships!

    So blessed by this post, you and yours! Remaining in prayer!!!


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