Saying Goodbye

This past week has been full of well wishes and saying goodbye to all of our friends and family. Kaylee and David got married on the 22nd so we had a chance to see a lot of family on Ronnie’s side.

Elena and Chris Coggin threw us a great “bon voyage” party on Tuesday night where we got to hang out with friends before our departure. It’s funny because the most common question is, “what are you going to pack?” It’s a great question because I didn’t know for sure until I actually started packing. I decided that Nike should be sponsoring our overseas adventure. We seriously have 10+ dri-fit shirts alone…not including all of my Nike shorts and sports bras! If I was going to guess I would say we have about 25 pieces of Nike clothing in our bags combined. Trendsetters, really.

There was one goodbye that was unexpected, even in the midst of all of our other send off’s. My grandpa, Doyle, passed away Tuesday night from an infection having just celebrated his 90th birthday weeks before he passed. Of course we dropped everything that we were doing and went to be with family out in the country. My grandpa was a farmer born and raised in a tiny little town south of Amarillo. The house that he was born in is still in our family out on one of my Grandpa’s farms. He’s the reason I love Texas, the country, country music, cowboy boots with dress pants, pick-up trucks, stetson cowboy hats, flannel shirts, calloused hands, simplistic living, fresh vegetables and farmers markets. We always had fresh black eyed peas, squash, onions and corn straight from his garden in his backyard! He was SO proud of his kids and grand kids and would always remind us of how proud he was. I was very sad to say goodbye to such a great man but selfishly I’m glad that I was able to be there with my family during that hard time and not hear about it via e-mail while we were in NZ. It’s only fitting to leave you with the absolutely PERFECT song in honor of my Grandpa Messer.

Born the middle son of a farmer
And a small town Southern man
Like his daddy’s daddy before him
Brought up workin’ on the land
Fell in love with a small town woman
And they married up and settled down
Natural way of life if you’re lucky
For a small town Southern man

First there came four pretty daughters
For this small town Southern man
Then a few years later came another
A boy, he wasn’t planned
Seven people livin’ all together
In a house built with his own hands
Little words with love and understandin’
From a small town Southern man

And he bowed his head to Jesus
And he stood for Uncle Sam
And he only loved one woman
He was always proud of what he had
He said his greatest contribution
Is the ones you leave behind
Raised on the ways and gentle kindness
Of a small town Southern man

Callous hands told the story
For this small town Southern man
He gave it all to keep it all together
And keep his family on his land
Like his daddy, years wore out his body
Made it hard just to walk and stand
You can break the back
But you can’t break the spirit
Of a small town Southern man

Finally death came callin’
For this small town Southern man
He said it’s alright ’cause I see angels
And they got me by the hand
Don’t you cry, and don’t you worry
I’m blessed, and I know I am
‘Cause God has a place in Heaven
For a small town Southern man


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