:: Ode to Lester Forney ::
A year ago tomorrow (June 6, 2011), my sweet Grandpa Forney went to be with the Lord. I remember this day VERY well. It was 4 days until our wedding, baby Evelyn had just entered the world, it was my parent’s 30th wedding anniversary, and my precious Grandpa wasn’t there anymore. I remember walking into his room, as he lay on his bed (brought in by hospice), and it was the first time I ever really understood what Paul meant when he wrote that our bodies were temporary. His soul was leaving. His body was shutting down.
If any of you have met the Forney family (my Mom’s side of the family), you know that NO family gathering is quiet. There will always be laughter, food, singing, jokes, toots, and wrestling. We are a rowdy bunch, and I LOVE it. The day my dear Grandpa left us to be with Jesus was no different. There were about 15 people crammed in a room made for no more than 8. The room was filled with laughter, jokes, tears, hugs, singing, and chaos all around our pillar as he lay in a bed just waiting to be with his Lord. Some people might have thought our family was being disrespectful, but I just know that my Grandpa heard us, and was smiling inside. He wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
I was able to share the most special moment of my life with my Grandpa that day. He was absolutely unresponsive, eyes closed, breathing so terribly loud, but the hospice nurse told us to still lean over and hug and kiss him and talk to him, because he could still hear us. I was scared to feel, scared to cry, because I knew that I wasn’t quite ready to face this man’s departure from the world, BUT it was not a moment I wanted to pass up. It became my turn, and as I leaned over him, I began to cry. I said, “Grandpa! It’s Allison here. I sure love you. Guess what Grandpa? I’m getting married in a few days. I really wish you could be there to see me in my white dress. You’d love it. It’s so pretty.” As I told him of the upcoming event, with eyes still shut, he very shakily reached his skinny arms up open to me. He was trying to hug me. I have never felt such a sweet embrace in my life. It was the last hug I gave my Grandpa, and I will forever treasure that moment.
I miss this man so much it’s crazy. I mean how can you not love this guy. Look at him! I can’t believe it’s been a year since he went to heaven. I can only imagine how popular he is up there. He was always a connector. He knew no stranger, and made sure everyone else knew each other. If he saw someone at the grocery store around my age, he’d ask them if they knew me haha. If he knew something about what your T-shirt said, he’d come talk to you. He learned the Indian greeting “Namaste” on a trip to India, and from then on out, if you looked even remotely Indian you would receive this greeting. He sure kept us laughing. Whew. What a man. I loved him so very much.
So this is for my Grandpa Lester Forney. Your positivity in life, and ability to walk like Jesus did is something I will never take for granted. You left quite the example for us to follow. Thank you for loving Grandma so well, and for loving the world with Christ’s love. You were a beautiful person. I can only pray that I’ll be half the person you were. I can’t wait to see you and kiss your soft cheek in heaven. I miss you Grandpa, but rejoice that you are where you have always wanted to be! Love you!
Oh and by the way “You’re it!” (Only the Forney’s will get this).