I learned much about standing up for myself and others from him.
I remember him coming to every piano recital, every choir concert. He and Mimi would get there early. He would wave to me on the risers, even when I was in high school, which embarrassed me a bit back then. But oh, that the world was full of more men who would wave to their kids and grandkids.
I believe in heaven. I believe by his faith in Christ my grandfather is in heaven.
But I don't quite know how heaven works.
Can people there see us here? Do they know what is going on? Do they see when the people they love the most are mocked, are hurt, are let down? Because if they can, I don't think Papa is up there twiddling his thumbs. I think he would be talking to God, advocating for his loved ones. It makes me smile just a little to think of Papa giving his two-cents on the situation. He was always good at that.
Like I said, I don't know how it all works. But I can go to sleep tonight thankful for how this man influenced my life, thankful for how he always advocated for me. Happy birthday, Papa! I wish you were still here, but I am glad you are no longer in any pain.