Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The One with the Letter to Pa

December 9, 2013
Family Christmas, December 2012
William Joseph Souhrada, Sr. (with Kaylyn)
[Editor's Note:  My sweet father, William, passed away on December 7, 2013.  Hermana Burnham's Mission President, President Pingree, informed her of his passing.  I am so very grateful for Alivia's sweet companion, Hermana Durham, who I am sure was a great comfort to her.  

Also note that Dad was a real teaser and never much of a drinker. He was always very respectful of my family's faith and beliefs, but was still a kidder at heart and knew how to yank her chain (as evidenced from the "swim" memory below). They were extremely close.  Below is her weekly email, addressed to her grandfather.]
Dear Pa,
Well, I didn’t appreciate the call I received Sunday morning regarding your passing.  I imagine you didn’t very much want anyone to receive it either.  You, my friend, made me cry--like real life cry--for the first time since I have been on my mission!  That is pretty impressive.  
I have been reflecting the past few days on my memories of you and the influence you have had on my life.  I thought of sitting at the Flea Market, playing cards, walking on the pier, you getting mad at me when I wouldn't drink the alcohol offered, and my angel teddy bear you gave me as a kid.  I also thought of going to the little beach right by your house that I was just SURE was one only we (our family) knew about.  I thought about once as a child calling you and begging you to come teach me how to swim because you were probably the best swimmer in Florida.  You gruffly responded, "NO!"  When my response was "Whyyyyyyy not, Grandpa!?" – you responded -- "Because I don’t like you very much!"  Ha. 

And that is how our relationship was--me not being afraid to push your buttons, and you not being afraid to say it like it was. But, deep within your heart and right behind your eyes, I always knew how deeply you loved me.  I hope you could see it too . . . right behind my eyes, and deep within my heart, the love I had for you--and still have for you.  I never grew tired about telling stories to my friends of my super cool Grandpa who was the toughest person alive.

Now, you have forced me to really think about what I believe when it comes to life after death and where my testimony really stands. As I have been thinking about it, I have come to several conclusions: 1. I’m sorry that they don’t have whiskey in Heaven; 2. I know you live on; 3. I know that our Heavenly Father has answered so many prayers offered by you, and the rest of us, to watch over your family still here on earth; 4. I know that you have been released from the illnesses that held you bound and that you are no longer in pain and no longer suffering; and,  5. I know that the Lord has sent a few of His choice servants to be with you just beyond the veil, while we wait here.  Give Dede a hug for me.  

And Grandpa, listen to those people who come to teach you and remember me down here.
I love you so much, Pa.  I will miss you every day until my time ends here on earth; but, what a glorious reunion it will be when we will meet again.   

"And I soon go to the place of my rest which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. Amen." Enos 1:27
With All the Love I Can Muster and Until We Meet Again,

Your Baby Granddaughter

1 comment:

  1. Aw, Alivia, there are some letters that I would like to write now, to those I love who have gone before me. You are an example to me in many ways.