…washed lanterns before electricity
…held guns in war
…held the hand of his bride
…rocked his babies to sleep
…swung a hammer
….seemed still only in sleep
…worked in the garden
…swung a golf club
…delivered meals to those in need
…played cards with his brothers
…hid Easter eggs for hours with his grandchildren
…mixed the best ice cream sundaes
…held his granddaughter’s hand as we danced at my wedding
…fed his great-grandchildren
…held his wife’s hand as age and illness robbed her of every memory but those of him
…gripped her hairbrush in his sleep after his love of 63 years passed
…hands that held my heart and shaped my world
Even in the final hours of his life, my grandfather’s hands brought me comfort.
Kneeling by his bed side, I fought tears and heartache. He was ready to go. Heaven was readying his spot. But, even as the logic of death and life well lived played in my mind…my heart broke. What would my life look like without my Grandpa? Who would adore me and make me feel like no one in the world could hold a candle to me?
And there in those moments, a breath away from each other he mustered the strength to hug me, to tell me loved me…to rub my cheek with his hands. To say goodbye.
I was blessed to call him Grandpa. And my life will forever be a tribute to his love and what he taught me. And I know, that I know that I know, that God gave me a glimpse of His love in the hands and heart of my grandfather.
How blessed I was to share a goodbye that echoed a life of love. That the Lord would give me a graceful period to end the chapter filled with stories written in the life of a man many knew, most respected, but only a few called “Grandpa”.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4