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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

This World Was Lucky to See Him Born

My grandpa died today. I just received the phone call from my mother a couple of hours ago. For the last few days, I've dreaded the sound of my phone ringing, knowing what could be on the other end. It was a simple phone call & I didn't ask a lot of questions. "How are you doing?" "How's Grandma doing?" "Did you get to talk to him?"

My Mom said he was peaceful today, although he was incoherent. He died with his son, daughters & wife by his side. They were singing hymns to him throughout the day. I can't imagine a better way to die. I hope his restless mind was at rest. My grandpa's always been one to try to figure out how everything works, I trust that at the end he was at peace knowing that Jesus had taken care of it all for him. I can only imagine what he's seeing now in heaven.

After hearing the news, I stuck around work for awhile, perhaps selfishly distracting myself from the news, but you can only hide from things for so long.

I'd been given an incredible gift last Thursday. My mother called to tell me that he was going downhill & probably wouldn't live too much longer. I drove to Saline to find Gramps in good spirits, happy that his family was around him. When we took him into his room so he could lie down, he asked me to stay in the room with him. We talked about all kinds of things, as we have so many times before. I won't tell you what we talked about, that's between him & me, but I will tell you that it was one of the happiest hours of my life, one I wish I could go back to.

Later that night, as I was saying goodbye, he asked me if I would be back tomorrow. It broke my heart to tell him that I wouldn't. The way he was Thursday, I counted on him making it long enough for me to see him again, but unfortunately, I didn't get back soon enough.

What a blessing it must've been for Gramps to have his entire family around for his last days. I'm sure it wasn't easy for any of them, especially during the times when he was incoherent. The days ahead I'm sure will be just as difficult, but I hope we can be both admonished & comforted by the following bible verses:

"For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory. Oh death, where is thy victory? Oh death, where is thy sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:53-58

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

La Familia 1-Kevin Davis, Eulogies for November
Harsher Winters-Kevin Davis, Eulogies for November
Dear Mrs Roosevelt-Woody Guthrie
Of Angels & Angles-The Decemberists, Picaresque
Passing Afternoon-Iron & Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days



Joyce said...

Thank you Andrew for using your gift to share this amazing day. Your mom told me about your private time with your grandpa, how blessed you are. See you soon.

Anonymous said...

What a special thing to have shared. And a beautiful blog to go with it. Thinking of all of you.


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Grand Haven, Michigan
the sun shines on a dog's ass every now & then...