Going Home

Today the Lord called my Grandfather home.

Don’t be sad for him. Or for us. Our tears are selfish. We cry for ourselves, not for him. We cry for our loss and it makes it hard to think about his gain. He’s free. He’s not in pain anymore. He can walk again! He can sing aloud again! He can put on his shorts and mow some heavenly grass! Or fix the radios or engineer some other heavenly electronics. He doesn’t need a hearing aid anymore. Or glasses. He doesn’t have to worry about nurses or bed sores or allergies. He’s free. He’s happy. He’s home.

Grandfather leaves behind a wonderful wife of almost 61 years. A wife who was by his side fighting for him 6 days a week for the past 2 1/2 years (on the 7th day she rested). That kind of life takes a toll but she lived it faithfully. He also leaves behind 5 children, 13 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren. That doesn’t include all his children and grandchildren in-love (our version of in-laws).

Grandfather was unique (all the best people are), and some of his quirks made us giggle. Like his vegetable jell-o. Yes, you read right. Grandfather ate orange jell-o with carrots and peas in it.  And he had a penchant for “fixing” perfectly fine electronics. Or other things in the house he deemed needed his tender loving care. And glue. Glue was his duct tape. There was the fact that he didn’t like to leave home because it was too cold “up north” where all his kids live. Except “up north” started in the panhandle of Florida.  Grandmother and he had a constant thermostat battle. He’d turn it up, she’d turn it down. He liked it a tad warmer than the rest of us. Grandfather took lots of “vitamines” and used to live in “‘Miamah.” He woke up at 5am to eat breakfast then went back to bed. Grandmother and he had a constant thermostat battle. He’d turn it up, she’d turn it down. He was a Florida Gator through and through and loved to watch the games. And he didn’t even give me a hard time about going to a rival school. In his time at the nursing home he loved when the family got together and sang for him.

That’s how I choose to remember him. My last memory and maybe my favorite. See, Grandfather got to meet my son in July. He had a really good day that day with the whole family there. He enjoyed his two grandsons and enjoyed our singing. He even held the songbook with me. I will cherish that day and I thank God for it. So though I cry tears for those of us he has left here, I praise God that he has taken him home.

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