Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dear Grandaddy, Welcome to Heaven...

I got the call this morning that you passed quickly and without pain. Oh, how I've prayed that's how you would go--that there would be no lingering and pain.

I'm so glad I got to see you just two weeks ago--I am grateful you recognized my face and that you recognized Jonathan. I got to tell you I'm having a baby, and I'll always smile at the confused look on your face as you stared at my stomach (because I wasn't showing when I was there). I got to kiss your smooth, thin cheek and smell that "Grandaddy smell" that used to stay for weeks on my pillow when we were kids when you and Mammaw stayed in our room when you visited. I got to say "I love you" one last time. That memory is so special now. I know it's no accident that you lived long enough that we were all able to visit with you.

The Grandaddy I remember has been gone a long time so I thought it would ache less than it does. After all, I know where you are, I know who you're with, and I wouldn't wish for you to live in the condition you were in one more second. It still aches though--a sweet ache of good memories, of gratefulness for the family of 6 you started with Mammaw that has swelled to 58 (with inlaws) and will be 60 by year's end, and a sweet ache of admiration that you and Mammaw left a legacy of faith for us all.

I love these memories: the worm box in the yard which you kept fully stocked, the fish fry you held when we were all together, cleaning the boat when we first arrived (the smell of comet still makes me think of that!), your smell which lingered on our pillows for weeks, that you would get irritated when we asked when you were leaving when you came for a visit (but what we really wanted to know was how many days we would get to have you there), your grin, your nubs from your carpentry accidents, that you did not have a college education but you made sure your children did, that you overmarried and you knew it, your strict adherence to card and domino rules, the strong pat on the back you gave when you hugged me, you in hats with mesh backs, your love of peanuts, tomatoes, fried chicken, and oyster crackers, your fascination with my married name, the way I got to know you when Mammaw left us (she always did outshine you!), your generosity to your children when you sold both of your houses, that even though you were a gruff Grandaddy, you always said "I love you" back.

I've missed you for awhile, but today it's fresh again. Thanks for loving my Mammaw and staying faithful to her, for giving me my mother, for building a beautiful place at the lake for us to make so many memories, and for loving God and raising my mother to love God so she could teach me to do the same.

Give Mammaw a hug for me.

I love you,

Felix Earl Jones
February 7, 1912-June 28, 2009

Husband to Imarene

Father to Bobby, Kathryn, Bonnie, & Helen
Grandaddy to Barry, Carla, Denise, Wade, Chad, Brent, Amy, Lori,
Kirk, Derek, Stan, Mindi, & Heath
Great-Grandaddy to Macy, Kevin, Brandon, Nancy, Blake, Sam, Grady, Mark, Hannah, Jacob, Jonah, Sydney, Alayna, Taytum, Ellie, John Alan, Brileigh, Kamryn, Brody, Bailey, Landry, Kassidy, Kinley, Blaze, Cole, Kylie, Baby Bozeman and Baby Zanowiak (both due in Dec.)


  1. Thanks for sharing your memories with us!

  2. what a sweet, sweet post. It brought tears to my eyes.

    You are going to be such wonderful mother!

  3. Thank you for giving that tribute to Daddy. One day we all will get to see Mother and Daddy. You have a wonderful way with words. I love you more than words can express. Love, Mom

  4. He left us and Mammaw got him back yesterday. I looked up to heaven and told her "Good luck with keeping up with him again" :)
    Love, your cousin Denise

  5. I am so sad to hear about your grandfather, but so thankful that he is out of pain and in a better place, and that you all got to see him and tell him that you loved him one last time. He hung on to see all of you, and that's a wonderful gift and comforting memory. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.