This past week we said goodbye to my husband’s grandpa. Though we’ve dealt with others dying while being married these last ten plus years, the loss of his grandpa is probably one of the most difficult because they were birthday buddies. Throughout growing up, his grandpa and he would go out for dinner on their birthday and get a good steak. Having known Jeremy’s grandpa for quite a while, I can safely say I can see why he’ll be greatly missed.
Even though saying goodbye is never easy, there are two things I’m most grateful for. The first, and definitely most important, is that my grandfather-in-law was a Jesus follower. That being said, I know he’s in heaven looking down on us, watching over us. The second thing I’m grateful for is that my husband had the opportunity to say goodbye to him. Even a couple of weeks ago before things started to really go downhill, my husband, two kids and myself went to visit him. During that visit, our boys sang songs with and to him, and enjoyed being with their great-grandpa. My grandfather-in-law LOVED his family and would often ask when he’d get to see us again (especially our boys).
As we get ready for the visitation and funeral, one important thing came to mind. When he was in the nursing home, and at times in the hospital, he often said, “I want to go home.” I know he was referring to his earthly home. Who could blame him? He had a lot of nice land and a home he had lived in for years and years with his wife of 63 years! I can totally see why he’d want to be at home. Unfortunately, going back home at this point wasn’t something that could be done.
BUT, praise be to God, he is finally HOME! His real home. His home where he gets to rest with his Lord and Savior. His home where he gets to reunite with all those who have gone before him, including three children. His home where he will no longer be suffering/dying. His eternal home. So, no, maybe he didn’t mean that when he said he wanted to go home, but God surely answered his wishes and gave him a home far better than anything this earth could provide.
Before I close, here’s something sweet. A couple of days before he left his earthly body, the nurses were able to get him in a wheelchair to go sit with his wife. (She has Alzheimer’s so she had to be in a different section of the nursing home). The whole time they sat next to each other, they held hands. They probably didn’t say much, but that action speaks more volumes than words ever could. The two of them were still so deeply in love. I hope that when my husband and I, Lord willing, get to this age, we also will still be so deeply in love (and even more so!). And this is exactly the type of stuff I love to read and write about – sweet love stories 🙂 Their story is definitely one of the sweetest!
What a great man who will be greatly missed. He was a great example, left a remarkable imprint on our lives and will not be forgotten. Love you, grandpa!