I've been back from camp since last Friday and it was AMAZING. God showed up in some incredibly cool ways and I am so thankful that I got the opportunity to go! However, life has just been "happening" this week and I haven't gotten around to blogging. MIA again so soon, I know... But I promise, I'm alive!
My Grandpa who has struggled with his health over the past 5 years passed away last Friday. Therefore, this week shaped up to be a pretty tough one. However, I truly believe that it was his time to go and that God has a wonderful plan in mind for us all. I will miss him dearly here on earth but know that today was a "see you later," rather than a "goodbye."
On Monday evening, my Grandma asked if I'd give a eulogy at the wake since she was so stressed with other planning. I was thrilled! God has truly given me the gifts of writing and speaking and I was thrilled to get to use them both in my sweet Grandpa's honor.
It was difficult to find the "right" words, but after a pep talk from one of my best friends, Brooke, it came naturally. I wholeheartedly stayed up til 1:30 a.m. working hard until it seemed perfect. It was tough to roll out of bed Tuesday morning at 6 a.m. (of course, I was going to babysit!) but it was worth it! Again, I just feel so honored to have gotten the oppotunity to speak at such an amazing man's memorial service and know I made him proud!
They say that one of the hardest things about losing someone dear to you is simply the feeling that you could have done something more. The feeling of regret, in a sense. The thought “if I just had one more day…” I think it’s something we all toss around and struggle with. And up until today, I’d even argue that it was part of the so-called “grieving process.” But when I woke up this morning, my entire perspective was radically changed.
The best memories with my Grandpa have always been ones that included baby calves. I realize that makes us seem like total hicks, but hey, I’m just being honest. Anytime I’d go to Grandma and Grandpa’s farm, my Grandpa would set me up with a calf and a bottle of milk replacer… And some days, the special days as I remember them, he’d put a rope halter on one of them and take it out into the yard and let me run around with it as he watched nearby. I never had to ask and to this day, I still don’t know how he managed to read my mind the way he did. Because for real, even with the stiff competition Grandma’s tasty cookies brought, Grandpa knew deep down just what he had to do to keep me down in that barn. That’s talent.
Since our family is so large, I’ve always felt like it was hard to have a special relationship with any one person… But as I said before, this morning, my perspective was radically changed. I now look back on those simple memories of Grandpa, me, and those little calves and I realize that no one, absolutely no one, got to share those moments with him besides me. Those moments and memories will never change. In fact, they were what formed the relationship that only I got the chance to have with him. They are truly what brought me up here today to share with you all. And so, I challenge you! I challenge you each to change your perspective on the memories you’ve shared with my Grandpa and I challenge you to search your memory for the one that makes you cherish the unique and special relationship that only you shared with him. I challenge you to hold onto that memory and last but not least, I challenge and pray that you would never get tired of doing the tiniest of things for others, because my Grandpa has taught me that those things are truly the ones that take up the most room in our hearts.
Now, if you look past my mop of hair and crazed look in my eyes, you'll be able to see just how special those moments with my Grandpa really were. I am so beyond grateful for all he has taught me and I truly cannot wait to see him again someday.
Grandpa, I hope that Heaven is SO good to you! I'm sure there'll be lots of good fishing up there. :) Thank you for being YOU and touching my life in such an incredible way. I love you!
Until we meet again...