Wednesday, May 8, 2013

losing Papa

James "Jim" Hemphill Jr.
August 28, 1935- May 1, 2013

One week ago today we unexpectedly lost James' sweet Papa. He was truly a remarkable person that will be missed dearly. In the 7.5 years I have been around this family he has been the one to always make me feel included and always ask how things are going. Every time I saw him he would say "heyyy baby" in the sweetest voice and always ask how school was going and since December he always asked about little man. He was so funny too! He never met a stranger and could make the most miserable person giggle.
James took this news so hard. He loved his Papa so much and losing him was such a shock. There was no preparation for this. We literally saw him at our nephews first birthday party 4 days before he died. He was his normal happy, funny, entertaining self and no one could have known what would happen a few days later.
Monday was the funeral and I have never been prouder of my husband. The grandchildren decided that they wanted to all speak at the funeral. James is not much of a "speech giver" but he stood up there and spoke from his heart. He told the sweetest story about his grandfather and what kind of impact he has made in his life. All six grandchildren were so strong and spoke so fondly of their grandfather. They were absolutely amazing and I know Papa was so proud of them for doing that.
So often James and I are compared to Papa and Nana and it is such an honor for us. They have been together since high school and have a love like no other for each other. They are such an amazing example of a happy couple that truly loved each other unconditionally. They have been married 59 years and I can't imagine how it must feel to lose the love of your life. She has been so strong throughout this. She is truly an inspiration to the kind of person I strive to be.
James has always been told he looks like his dad and when I saw this picture of Papa I almost fell out of my chair! This looks exactly like James. It is so funny how you can look so much like two different people. I know it means so much to James to resemble this man. He thought the world of his Papa and seeing how much he looks like his was just the icing on the cake. There was even a man that came up to James at the burial and said how much he looked like Papa. It was so sweet and put such a smile on James' face. I loved seeing that.

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