Saying goodbye for me is really hard and often times feel uncomfortable in doing so. Last night, I got the call from my father, letting me know that my grandfather, his father, has passed away.
My grandfather was an amazing man or as I sum it up to most, he is my hero! He lived through the great depression. Fought in World War II. Bought and farmed land in North Carolina. He never knew a stranger. Always had a smile and would flirt with a cute woman in a minute.
I grew up living about an hour from him, so it was normal to go to the farm on a Saturday morning with my Dad and he and my grandfather and I would grab cane poles and go fishing on the pond on the farm. Or, they would let me drive to the hog pins and feed them, while they would laugh at me. We would laugh and carry on whenever the three of us together.
After I got the call, I felt numb. I teared up, not for the death of my grandfather, but because I would never be able to pickup the call and talk with him again. I wouldn’t be able to hear his voice and even on his worst day, that he would give me comfort or advice. He is and forever will be my hero.
My grandfather gave me advice about life, told me what he expected from me after he was gone and life’s little secrets to pass on to my kids. Today I lost my hero and saying goodbye is really hard.
My kids will be the ones that lose out the most, as they didn’t have the privilege of knowing my grandfather that well, as we live 7 hours plus from him. But as I prepare to tell them that their great grandfather has died, I keep coming back to a single Bible verse:
This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalm 118:24
This represents my father in so many ways and has provided comfort. Some of my fondest memories of my grandfather were at church. Seeing him smile, sing and more importantly pray in church. So as I morn the lost of my grandfather, there is a voice in the back of my head saying, remember that word rejoice. My grandfather would not a single person to be upset over his death, but instead he would want us all to rejoice.
I know that the next several days will be hard. I know that telling my son’s that my grandfather has passed away will be hard, for me to say and for them to see me upset. But, the reality is simple, we all live and we all Die. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.
But, it is how we live our lives, that determines our future and how those rejoice our lives. And in the next several days, we will be rejoincing the life of my grandfather. A man that lived a simple life, but an amazing life. Goodbye my hero. Sleep easy tonight.