Monday, January 23, 2012


***Note: I'll be honest, this post has taken me a long time to post. About 3 weeks. As in I wrote this on January 1st. There's a lot of healing that's happened since I started, and a lot of hurt, too. Grief, I'm learning, strikes at the oddest moments. And grief, I'm also learning, is unrelenting and to be honest, sometimes I feel like it will never end.

And yet...writing is healing for me. So you may read this post and think I'm weird, you may not, but to be honest I don't care. This helps me tremendously. And you know, I may have to come back to this post over and edit, re-word, or entirely change the whole thing. I may have to write about this again, I may not, I don't know yet, but I think that's okay. But I just need you, or maybe more so myself, to know that I have not touched this since January 1st. Not a word. So if I come across as a crazy person, don't be shocked. Just know that this is for me. I'm putting this out there so I can come back and smile at the memories. Even now typing this little intro tears are streaming (or maybe flash-flooding is more accurate) down my face.

This post is not for pity. This post is not for sympathy. It's for me. If it helps you, I am so thankful. But if not, I'm okay with that. This is just one more step for me in the process of grief. I know there is more--so, so much more that I haven't even encountered yet--but for now, this works.

So here's to healing, to pain, and to a little bit of laughter.

End note***

You may notice something different around here, you may not. I've deleted some posts. Why? Because I don't want this blog to be something it's not--forced. I don't want to write about things that I'm not passionate about. That's what blogs are for, right? To pursue a niche of your own, to show the world what you're proud of. Or to just ramble about random things. It's whatever.

But for me, I want this blog to be mine. If someone requests a specific post topic, cool. I'll do it. If not, I'll do my own thing. If that's a recipe, right on. If it's me rambling about shoes, neat. If I write about my luscious ginger locks (what?), cool, but at least it's me being me.

I've never been a big resolutions gal, not one to follow through on things. I like to keep things generic, that way I don't get disappointed. I would tell you what they've been in the past but, to be honest, I'm not really sure what they were. Like I said, not good on the following up part.

But I think if I were to put one word to 2012, one goal, it would be "genuine." And I think that can be achieved through my favorite medium-writing.

2011 was everything I wanted and then some: finished up my last summer working at my favorite place, got to travel the world with my sister and dad, and had the pleasure of marrying my best friend and inherited a wonderful group of in-laws. 2011 was perfect. It had it's ups and downs, but all-in-all it was one of my favorites.

I'd be lying if I told you 2012 started off great. Sure, I rang in the new year like everyone else, but I woke up on January 1st not to my alarm, but to a phone call. A phone call telling me that my sweet Grandpa had passed away.

You know, you can prepare for things like this all you want, but you're never, ever ready. My family and I have known for some time that this could come at any moment. But all I could think was, "No. No, not now. Not yet." And you know what? I think that's okay. Because that means I loved him.

My Grandpa was a lot of things. He was tall, goofy, faithful, determined, compassionate, purposeful, intelligent...but one thing he wasn't was fake. Honest to goodness, I don't know of a single soul that met Tom Saffell and didn't like him. He was the most genuine man I've ever known. When he looked you in the eye, you knew he was listening. Never judging. Well, not really. He did quite a bit of "Well, I reckon"ing when it came to me (and maybe more specifically my nose piercing), but he never judged.  He was genuine. He did his own thing, and you know what? I can look at my time with him and remember the stories he's told me about his youth and being a parent and grandparent and know, know that he lived his life to the fullest. No regrets. Now that's genuine.

He genuinely believed that there was merit in ranking his jeans. No, seriously. He had a rating scale for his Levi's, from 1-10. From frayed to "fancy," he had a pair of Levi's to cover every occasion. He genuinely believed that if someone hadn't heard the story about Avery and I playing soccer as 5 year olds, well, stop right there Mister because you've haven't heard anything yet. He genuinely believed in working with his hands, hard work, and he was able to make his dream come true and build a cabin in the woods from the ground up. He was able to work his way up in the Phillips oil company--from a limo driver to a celebrated researcher and innovator, Grandpa did everything to the fullest. He dedicated his life to his wife, children and grandchildren, invested in us and gave us things money could never buy. He lived a faithful life by example--his sweet, gentle spirit and dedicated nature proved to others what Christ can do. He lived a life anyone could be proud of, but especially me.

Like I said, you're never ready. But, here's the best part, he lived his life so that my family has no doubt that he's kickin' it in Heaven. Telling Jesus that he's never fished until he's thumped a catfish on the head to hear it hum (seriously, try it sometime). Explaining to the angels that I'm "high main-ten-ance" because I like makeup and hair products. And goodness, he's probably worn everyone out with his stories, but I know they're laughing.

So you know what, 2012? You didn't start out too great, but I already see where you're headed. This is the year for love, dedication, and being genuine. I want to be able to look back at my life, smile, and "heeheehee" just Grandpa did. Maybe throw in a wink for good measure. 2012 you've dealt me a rough hand, but I'm ready to raise the stakes. Let's see what you've got.

And Grandpa? Don't party too hard, dude. We'll see you soon.

"G-pa's Posse" circa 1996ish. Rockin' those "fancy socks." 


  1. This is a beautifully written post, Kayla. :) I must say, I have great admiration for the way you are choosing to deal with the whole situation. *hugs* and cheers to a great year.

  2. Just now reading this post Kayla - and I've got tears in my eyes (and yes I am at work. He did love to tell that story of you and Avery playing, actually not playing soccer! He was a very genuine person and we will all miss him!