As most or all of you know, my husband is Paul Robert Jones. It may look weird for me to introduce him that way, full name and all, but the reason I'm doing that is because he was named after someone, someone quite special. His name was Paul Robert Parsons, and he was my husband's grandfather.
Paul Robert Parsons was better known as Bob, and he was a warm, loving, dedicated father, grandfather and all around family man. I had the honor and pleasure to meet him soon after Paul and I were married back in '99 and I was almost overwhelmed by his instant acceptance of me into his family, and his warm and kind demeanor. He always seemed to have a smile on his face.
He was a man a man of his word who knew what was right and never hesitated to do it, even when it included taking in his daughter and grandson when her husband left. He took the father role in Paul's life for the first couple of years until she remarried. And he remained in Paul's eyes and heart the only true father he'd ever had.
Bob died this past weekend of complications from a long battle with enfezema, and his namesake, his grandson, was there to hold his hand and pray for him as he did. What an honor that was for him, to gently hold and love him as he left this world. Although it was difficult and painful to watch his grandpa go, we were glad we made the trip to Cincinnati (where he lived) to see him one last time. We were glad to remember him with family and friends, and be there to honor his life.
The one thing that kept coming to me was the thought of legacy. The kind of legacy we leave behind when we go is more important than perhaps we realize. This was a man everyone loved, everyone loved to be around, that everyone felt comfortable around. This was a man who could be trusted, and a man who knew how to give of himself to others.
Already I can see where Paul gets his sense of responsibility and dependability. His respect towards others, and perhaps most notably, his love of music, for Bob was a phenomenal piano player who filled the home with melody and joy as he played daily for anyone who would want to listen, which was everyone, and who'd want to sing along.
My last thought is this and it goes to you Bob. I hope I leave a similar legacy when I go. One of love, warmth, trustworthiness, and dependability. I hope my child(ren) and his (or theirs whatever the case may be) children will remember me with the same warmth and affection that yours have for you. You inspired me, as you have many others, to be a better person.
Paul, Grandpa, Me, and Uncle Otto in 1999