So. My grandpa died.

January 3, 2013

I want to make a little room, on this here blog, to remember my grandpa.
Hurshel.  My dad's dad.
Like I mentioned here, I was packing up my family
for a long Christmas roadtrip when I got the call...
Hey dad. What's goin' on?
Chelsea... (long pause) ...my dad was found dead this morning.
Me... (long pause) ...what happened?
I ask a long series of questions cause that's what I do.
I need to know all the details.
It appeared as though he had gotten up in the night, and then collapsed by his bed.
My dad was laying carpet at my brother's house when he got the call.
He's too level headed to leave a house all torn up so he finishes the job
before hopping in the car and driving to Hiawatha to be with his mother
and help take care of funeral arrangements.
But not before slicing his thumb open and gluing and taping it back together.
Who needs stitches?
I asked if it happened before or after the phone call. He says after.
And claims they were unrelated...
It was a freshly sharpened knife and I just slipped!
Its okay to be jarred and distracted by a phone call like that, dad. Really it is.
So I fly home for the funeral. It was the most amazing journey ever.
I beg God to spare me the evil stomach bug that's tormenting the country.
And He does.
So I dress myself and my infant daughter in dark clothes.
But not too dark.
This is a celebration after all.
Jia was the only young child present.
Lucky great grandbaby number 16. She's the youngest.
It made me feel good to see the joy she brought.
Some of my family was meeting her for the first time.

I see my grandpa for a split second as we pass his open casket one last time
as our family is being ushered to our seats up front.
He's definitely gone.
Just his shell remains.
All my brothers and a few cousins are the pallbearers.
They're all wearing suits. Looking sharp. And have grown beards.
I think my hubby started a trend. Or it could be the duck dynasty obsession. ;)
I'm not really sad as I sit there and listen to the pastor.
I just can't be.
Why should I be?
My grandpa was in the very presence of The Most High.
I was envious of him.
His body no longer hurt.
He didn't feel old anymore.
He's in paradise!
I picture him up there holding my baby girl.
I can hear his laughter.

Hurshel Surratt Fulk, 87, died suddenly in his home on December 19, 2012.
He was born in Horton, Kansas to James and Ava Fulk on November 1st, 1925.
Hurshel was the youngest of thirteen children.

In 1943, Hurshel left to join the Merchant Marines to help in the war efforts of WWII.
While on leave, he married Aleatha Arlene Woodruff 
on December 24th, 1944 at North Topeka Baptist Church in a double wedding.
He and Arlene started a floor covering business and served the community for 43 years.

He and Arlene enjoyed traveling and over the course of their married life
had the opportunity to visit many foreign countries as well as
most of the continental United States.

Those surviving are his children: Janet Irwin of Hiawatha, KS,
Larry (Penny) Fulk of Paola, KS,
Charles (Fawn) Fulk and John (Barb) Fulk of Olathe, KS,
a daughter-in-law Kelly Fulk of Junction City, KS,
and a sister Dorothy Stultz of Ark City, KS,
15 grandchildren and 
16 great grandchildren.

Hurshel was preceded in death by his son, Richard Fulk,
his parents, 7 brothers and 4 sisters.
(That's my dad! Back left. Freaking cute.)

They unfold the flag and place it over the casket.
Taking their time to make sure its perfectly placed and smooth.
My dad is the only family member that spoke.
He's posed and articulate.
But for the first time in my life, I see him choke up.
No tears fall, but he has to swallow them down in order to continue.
Ouch. That gets me.
My dad. Saying goodbye to his dad.










At the freezing cold gravesite, my grandpa is saluted a final time
and shots are fired to honor him and his service to his country.
The flag is refolded and presented to my grandma.
So tiny and frail now.
I'm glad I was there.
My flight from hell was worth it.

I love you grandpa.
Kiss my baby girl and I'll see you soon!!


1 comment:

amy said...

this is so beautiful, chelsea. i am crying.

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