Tuesday, January 6, 2009

When You Love Someone

I will miss my Grandfather's smile. I will miss his sense of humor. I will miss his way with children. I will never forget the countless memories I have created with my Grandparents.
My Grandparents have been a treasure. As I have grown older I have come to appreciate their lives. My Grandparents were in love.
It is hard to let go of someone you love. Especially when you were given 67 years with that particular someone. Last night my Grandmother said good-bye to her beloved husband. After 90 long years on this planet he left this world and entered his eternal rest.
My mom is the eldest of their four children and I think it was a loving gift that the Lord allowed her to be there when he passed. My grandmother was there also. The nurse made room for her to lay next to my grandfather's side for his last breaths here on earth. What a sweet picture of their love. I am blessed to have witnessed such love.
My Grandfather suffered from dementia the last couple of years. He didn't quite understand how he could have black grandchildren but his love for them was so evident. On this particular visit we were having a hard time getting Brown Sugar to go to sleep. My Grandfather leaned over her and started singing Rock of Ages. First verse only...over and over again. His brain was starting to have glitches and he would be stuck on a particular song for days until his brain would click to the next song that would be with him for a period of time. I had tears in my eyes as I thought about how precious it was that he was remembering such sweet words.

My Grandfather fought in World War II. His stories were incredible and exciting for us all to listen to. He kept journals and drawings of his time in the Pacific Islands. Most amazing is that he was one of a group of men that worked at the Nevada Test site. This is where they would explode bombs and test radiation levels of such bombs. He would tell us tales of walking out onto the bombing site right after the bomb was exploded. The kick of the story? They were wearing civilian clothing. It really is amazing that he lived to be 90.

Because Eric was in the military they would talk for hours about airplanes, ships, and military life in general. Although I don't think it would really matter in heaven I would like to believe that Eric would have been one of the first to greet my Grandfather (along with my cousin Zach) and that they would promptly start talking about all things military again with a few poignant thoughts about the family that they left behind.
Such a beautiful dream that plays through my mind.

But in reality I am just so thankful for the years that I had with my Grandfather. I am thankful for the years of stories that he relayed to us. He did not grow up in a Christian home and yet produced two generations, so far, of progeny that believe in the Lord. I am a result of that heritage and am eternally grateful.

I know my Grandmother's grief. And yet I don't fully know how it must feel to live your whole adult life with the man you love and then have to say good-bye. Her burden of care taker has been lifted but the pain of loss will now fill its place. She has been the prayer warrior in my life. She has shared the Gospel through her life and has been a beautiful example of true womanhood. Now, I pray for her in her time of need and ask that the Lord would protect her and guide her through the valley of the shadow of death.


six2love said...

I am sorry to hear of your Grandfather's passing, Heather. I know he is perfected, healed, happy and I'm sure thoroughly overjoyed to be with his Savior, but even so, for those who remain there is loss. You, your mother, grandmother and children all know this truth, but I'm continuing to pray for grace and peace all the same. God is meeting you each day and providing just what you need for that day's journey, I can tell by your posts. He is so good to us.

I sat at Borders tonight w/a dear friend and her children (same arrangement we had when you were here) and she apologized for backing away from me these last few months. She explained that she has been intimidated by my loss and doesn't know what to do. She loves me so much and I her, it doesn't even matter. But, I want you to know that having the memory of sitting in that same spot with you last month and having been able to share with someone who "does know" greatly helped me be okay with her not being able to be there for awhile. Does that make sense? I've not worded it well, but she loves me, but couldn't be there for awhile but I had talked with you during that time, and I feel like you "get me" in this loss of husband, dad to six kids, how will I do this alone thing. God covers all the bases is what I'm trying to say and using too many words to say it, Ha :-)

Continuing to pray for each of you. I know it's a big month for you all. And God will continue to cover all the bases.

Love, Sue

Kathyb1960 said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your Grandfather's death. It sounds like he lived a good, long life! Another blog friend lost her Grandmother (in law, I think) at the "young" age of 99 and 10 1/2 months. She would have been 100 in Feb.

My prayers are with you!

Cheryl (copperswife) said...

I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your grandfather, Heather. I love the top picture of you and he smiling at one another. The mutual adoration is so sweet.

Della said...

What a beautiful tribute! I laughed, cried, praised God, and prayed for you and your family, especially your Grandmother. Thank you for sharing!

Heather said...


I am so sorry for your loss! We are praying for y'all! I will be praying for your grandmother too!

Love, Heather

godlover said...

I'm sorry for your loss, Heather, and I will pray for you and your family. Tough times seem to come around way too often!