Even though she hasn’t been well for the past year, she had been doing better recently and we thought that there would be time for our oldest granddaughter and her youngest son, to come home, from Florida, for a last visit. This was her wish but her time ran out.
My granddaughter and her father flew in on Saturday and while it is wonderful to see my granddaughter, it is not wonderful to have it be under these circumstances. It is not wonderful that someone had to die to bring them home. But, it seems like this happens. We get so caught up in living life and meeting our commitments that sometimes those things we should do or people we want to spend time with, get put off…and sometimes we run out of time.
In the big picture, I know that she is in a much better place. She is no longer in pain or suffering. She is no longer confined to a wheel chair. She is now free of this body that failed her.
While I am thankful for all of this, I am still sad. It is hard to see my granddaughters sadness and that of her husband and the rest of her family. I feel for my daughter, who could not come home for the funeral today and grieves the loss of this woman who treated her like a daughter. She adored my daughter and that did not stop when my daughter was no longer married to her son. I have treated my former son-in-law in the same manner. As the father of my granddaughter, I will always love him and have a relationship with him.
I think about this woman and all that she taught me with how she lived her life…with how she loved…with how she forgave…with how she believed.
As always, when someone we love dies, our perspectives change. In these moments, we are forced to stop and face our own morality. Things that we thought were important cease to be. Things that we thought were meaningless, show their significance.
Death pulls us to hug our loved ones a little bit tighter. Death forces us to see that we don’t know when our time on this earth will run out. Death causes us to let go of the trivial and to embrace the importance of people. Death reminds me that I might have unfinished business in my life and that it would be of my benefit and the benefit of others, to take care of these matters.
Today, as attend her funeral, I picture her climbing the stairway to heaven.
I picture her looking down proudly, at all she has left behind and saying "I did good." I picture her running through fields of flowers. I picture her beautiful smile and her laughter. I picture her singing and clapping her hands. I picture her dancing before Jesus. I picture her free.
Here's to you my beautiful friend...this is not a good bye but an "I will see you later."...until we meet again...I love you.