My grandfather died a week ago. He was 93 years old. He had 46 grandchildren, 86 great grandchildren and 38 great great grandchildren. Mom said today that his funeral was like reliving her mother’s funeral that was just a few years ago. Some people think that because a person is old or has lived a long life that their death is not sad. Funerals are sad for so many reasons. I think the first and most obvious is that the person is no longer around… and that you will never see them on earth again. Then you think about the times you have had that just won’t be possible without them around. Lastly, for me anyway, is to know that this life is so short and that if I live long enough I will see the death of many more people I love.
I listened to the obituary closely Friday at the funeral. I couldn’t help but think about my own dad and how great he has been my whole life. There were a couple of songs that were played… one about “daddy’s hands,” and another about “walking on water.” I think they must have either been really old songs or country, because I don’t remember hearing them before but they were both very relevant to my dad. He has always been there to “save” me. The time I called with my pj’s on from the top of my car because a goat had escaped and was trying to attack me. He came driving down the road to take care of the goat. The time I backed over a dog and just couldn’t get out to see what damage I had done. I called him from inside the car and he came driving up, told me to pull forward, and then buried the dog.
The next thought I had was about mom, how she valued grandpa until he breathed his last breath. She loved him and wasn’t ready for him to go because it was inconvenient for her to repeatedly drive to his hospital room when the nurses called in the family time and time again. She was ready to sit by his bed whenever possible. She never begrudged the trips to the nursing home on weekends, even when she worked long days at the National Guard and was tired on the weekends… She wanted to spend time with him and really valued him. There is something incredibly unselfish about valuing a person who is to some an obligation.
I feel so fortunate to have parents that I have so much respect for as people. Time and time again they have lived their lives as people who do the right thing. I have learned so many lessons that parallel God’s love from them. They love unconditionally, and fully.
Losing a loved one reminds me of times in the past that maybe I didn’t realize were special when I was in that moment. I remember being at grandma and grandpa’s house on Christmas Eve, watching the news on television. They showed Santa’s sleigh on the satellite for weather. It just happened to be flying right over us at the time. I remember cousins piled all over the house and playing for hours and hours. I also think about Christmases at Marmar’s house (Matt’s grandmother). We had so much fun in Blanchard, USA… methodist pallets, sitting at the breakfast bar talking for hours and eating black olives.
I guess my take away thoughts from this is that today is special. Someday I’ll look back and think of this time and remember how special it was. It’s hard to not get ahead of myself in this life… to always look to tomorrow, but does time fly or what? Wow.
Life today is all about…. Amanda, never seeing her pretty face… but so proud of her. Bailey, and drama and our early morning workouts and walks and ice water from Sonic. Emelia, a sanguine times ten! with football practice (she’s manager/water girl) and skating and always being Emelia… and Izzy, finally getting so much better and snuggling and school, AR points and little girls who write best friends on her paper. I heart them.