It has been one of the busiest weeks I have know in a long time. I’m tired. Ready for a break. I wish I could clear off the calendar, even just for a few hours to breath deeply and refocus. But for the next few days, life is plotted out for me. Obligations I can’t avoid, places I need to be, studying that needs to be done, work that needs to be finished, and loving that needs to be given. As I think about the craziness of my week, emotionally, physically, mentally, I have to take a step back. My crazy week, has been nothing compared to the crazy 6 months that my grandma and dad have lived. My heart is heavy for them. Today, they will mourn, once again, the death of a father and granddad.
It has been a life altering 6 months for my grandma. After fighting a good fight with cancer, my papa left this world this fall. Picking up the pieces for her has been a taunting task. 52 years, day in and day out, spent with your partner, your best friend, your other half, is a lost I cannot fathom. She’s been strong, she’s been weak, she’s laughed, she’s cried. In a tiny town, there is not much available to distract you from the loss, but somehow she has managed to get up everyday, and create some sense of a new life. A new life that would not have been possible if it were not for the sacrifices my dad has made. For the past 6 months, his life has not been his own. In his own grief, he was able to love my grandma and provide security, strength and gentleness to help her get through her own. He has and continues to stop whatever he is doing in order to take her phone call, make a visit, answer her questions, or to offer encouragement to try new things. He has been the son every mother longs for, and as his daughter I could not be more proud.
Today, all the emotions of loss overwhelm them once again. My great grandfather lived a long life. At 95, he will be placed to rest. My grandma will mourn, not only the lost of her dad, but she will remember papa today as well. Her heart will be broken, the tears will flow, the questions will come. But I pray too, that she remembers. Remembers the lives lived. The memories made. And is able to grasp the hope of Ephesians 5:20 “In all things give praise.” May today the blessings of her dad and the joys of my papa bring her peace. My dad will put on his beautiful armor of strength. He will put aside his mourning and be the rock of the family. He will speak tender words of a life well lived, he will sing sweet melodies of praise, he will be the shoulder my grandmother leans into. But his heart too will ache, tears will come, and his mind will be rushed with not only memories with his granddad, but memories of his father as well. As he musters the strength to lead my family out of this loss, I pray that he remembers he’s not alone. I pray for the promises of Isaiah 41:10 to consume him. “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
I look forward to spending my afternoon with these two. Amidst the tears, the loss, the grieving, I know there will be laughter, hugs and memories made. Our God is good, and I am thankful.