I was thankful to see this week begin. Starting a new week meant I was able to leave one of the crappiest and most difficult weeks of my life behind me.
Bad week? You could say that. You could also use quite a few more adjectives: crappy, hard, sad, ugly, gut-wrenching, and heart-stomping are a few that come to mind.
October was already a month of ups and downs, with life’s roller coaster taking gigantic loops, twists, and turns, then it took a sudden plunge last Sunday. Long before the sun came up, I received a phone call from my mom with the horrible news that the man who had been a huge part of my life since I was 5 years old had died of a massive heart attack. My friends, I have yet to receive a phone call that early in the morning with good news. This call was no different.
I have been blessed with not just two, but four parents throughout most of my life. My sister and I got away with nothing!
While four parents meant double the eyes watching what we were doing, it also meant double the hearts caring for us, double the people protecting us, and double the guidance in helping us and teaching us.
I remember a time when I was about 12 years old and I had a nasty case of the flu. He stayed home from work to tend to me. There was chicken noodle soup, medication at the right times, temperature checks, and a constant vigil as I rested and recuperated.
He taught me the proper way to fold towels, how grill the juiciest steaks, and work hard until the job is done and done well.
Our kids knew him as Papaw, and he and Granny (my mom), have always been our camping partners for a big spring and fall camping trips. We enjoyed field trips, cookouts, holidays, middle of the week visits, and every day moments with Papaw and Granny.
He loved being a grandparent and had no defense to the smiles of the children. His lap was always available and he held nothing back.
Psalm 23 assures us of Gods presence in times of good as well in times of bad. For over a week now, His mighty hand has given me strength when I have needed it most, comfort when the memories and emotions overwhelm me, and grace when the sadness turns to anger.
Having someone you love pass away without knowing if they are saved or not is horrible. Papaw’s passing left us with a question only God could answer.
For years now our family has prayed over his salvation, though I searched and searched my memories, I could not think of anything that assured me of his eternal destination. Now I get to use two of the most powerful words in the Bible, “But God…”. I didn’t know, but God did. I prayed, our family and friends prayed, and God answered. Boy, did God answer!!
My heart hurts for our loss, but my spirit rejoices in the knowledge that our family will be united once again.
Thank you to every one of you who has lifted our family up in prayers. They make more of a difference than I can tell you. Please continue to pray for my mom as she figures out a life different than the one she has lived for almost 30 years. Knowing how my life has changed, I cannot imagine what she is going through daily.