Sunday, January 29, 2012

It is Well- a very few thoughts and memories of my beloved Grandfather

It’s crazy to think that just a week ago last night I was on the phone with my grandfather.  And a week ago today I skyped with him. He kept joking with me, “you are so beautiful! You must have a big date tonight.”  A week ago tomorrow he told me “love you, love you, love you”. And a week ago Wednesday morning when he could no longer respond to me, I carefully spoke the words “You’re the best grandfather I could ask for. I love you.” over the speaker-phone. That was all I could say before tears completely overtook me. And then on Wednesday evening, in one second, one breath, he moved from present tense into past and future at the very same time. He is no longer here on earth, but this wasn’t his home anyway. His citizenship was in heaven. “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Phil 3:20-21. So now he’s where he belongs. Where all who have been washed white in the blood of Christ belong. 
As happy as I am for him to be out of the pain and suffering and temptations of this world, I miss him dreadfully. And I think I always will. 
My grandfather has always been a wonderful part of my life. He accepted Christ as his Savior just months before I was born, so I’ve always known him as a God-fearing, faithful man. He loved family. Twice we spent a week at Disney with him and grandma and the number of times he visited our house I can’t even count. He was with me the day I graduated. I remember seeing his proud face beaming at me as us new graduates walked out of the ceremony. I’ve already cried that he won’t be at my someday (hopefully) wedding. I wanted him there more than almost anyone else. Because at your wedding, you dance with grandpa. That's what you do. Only, I won’t get to. But when that day comes, I’ll probably cry a little and then treasure all my wonderful memories of grandpa and keep those with me the whole day long.
Happy and sad and bittersweet tears keep rolling down my face, so I guess I’ll be done with memory lane for a while...

I just wanted to share one more happy thing that really stuck out to me about the events of his passing. It really was a celebration because he has been called to worship before the throne of our Great God forever and ever. And I am sure he has been told, “well done, good and faithful servant!” but anyways....
My mom mentioned in her speech at his memorial service yesterday that the last song he sang (whispered) with family was “It is Well with my Soul”. It made me cry, because not only had it been the very song to bring me comfort when I first heard that my grandfather’s last days were upon us, but it brought back one of the best memories of my entire life...
Our WHOLE family was rarely all together at the same time, but I will never forget one night when we were staying at Massanutten resort in Virginia, Spring 2006. The trip was in celebration of my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. We were all together in one of the living rooms- putting it on the cramped side of full. My cousin Joe had his guitar out and we were singing worship songs. I don’t remember who requested or chose It is Well, but I do remember when we sang it that it was the MOST beautiful rendition of the song I had ever heard. Our family is full of musicians, vocal ranges of every kind; people who know what they’re doing. We had full harmonies, echos, everything. It gives me shivers just remembering it. It was positively magical. I remember thinking, can we do it again? Can we pleeeeeease do it again and again and again?
I think that was the last time that our whole family was together like that because every other “whole family” trip was a wedding and someone or another was off on their honeymoon. (someone correct me if i’m wrong)
It is a beautiful memory of my grandfather, and as many have said this week, his faith is now sight. And one day, our faith shall be sight as well.
I’m sharing these memories with you, because I haven’t been with family at all since his passing, only my very little siblings, who don’t quite grasp what’s happened, so I haven’t gotten to talk very much... And I also want you to know how wonderful my grandfather was!

This version of It Is Well doesn't come close to my family's version, but at least you can hear it.


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