It has been a very long couple of weeks. My grandpa died Thursday morning surrounded by family, very peacefully, but no less heartbreaklingly. Since his death and the few days leading up to it, our family has spent some sweet time together, remembering, laughing, crying, and trying to figure out what life looks like now that he is gone.
The service for him was so special. His kids spent hours and hours planning and thinking of just the right things to share about him. It really was a time of thanking and praising the Lord for giving us such a wonderful man, and seeing how he gave every area of his life to the Lord. It has also been a time of learning more about him. He was so humble, never one to draw any attention to himself or anything he ever did for anyone else, and there have been many stories that have come out about how he touched people's lives. Even things my grandma never knew about.
For me, the week leading up to his death was incredibly emotional. I could hardly talk or think about him without dissolving into tears. For now I feel like that part may be over, and now I just sort of feel an emptiness. So many conflicting emotions: thankfulness and peace that He is in Heaven with Jesus, but so sad that he is no longer here with us; excitement and joy at being with all of our family, but this empty feeling because he is not here too.
I think I sort of operate out of a "looking forward to what is coming next" attitude. If there is something going on that I am not super excited about or that is hard, I think, "Well, at least I have (fill in the blank) to look forward to." But with grandpa dying, there doesn't seem to be anything to fill in that blank. There doesn't seem to be any good options in thinking about life without him. And maybe that is how it is supposed to be. There really is no one who could or should fill his place, and I really would never want anyone to. It is just plain hard, it hurts, and in reality will never be the same. But in the midst of that the Lord is still here, where He always has been, with us in our pain and heartbreak.
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
And life somehow marches on. This week the boys have all been taking naps again, hallelujah! I separated Eli and Micah and they have both been sleeping beautifully, (seriously, is that all it took?!) Micah has learned how to jump on one foot, and he can finally say his C's, K's, and G's. He has to hold his little throat to feel the difference between the sound in the front of his mouth and the back of his throat, but he can do it. Isaac is talking more and more, some of my favorites- nump (jump), peas mama, (please mama), ted you (thank you). Eli and Micah have also been super excited about getting some Leapsters (they call them weapsters) from my young cousins with tons of games. And we have thoroughly enjoyed having my parents here for so many sleeps!
Lord, thank you for your goodness to us in the midst of heartache and your promises that are new every morning, GREAT is your faithfulness.