I have not been here as much as I would have liked to be in the past few months.
My granddaddy recently passed away. He was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer a few short months ago. Finding the source was pointless. Chemo was pointless. He refused radiation. He went downhill much faster than we thought and hoped and prayed that he would. The predicted 6 months was only a bit more than 3.
My biological father died when I was a few days from turning 2. Granddaddy was really the only ‘daddy’ I had known until my mom remarried when I was 8.
We only live a few hours away, so our monthly visits turned into weekly visits at least. Sometimes more. We made it a priority to be down there as much as we could, and then some.
He walked with the Lord here on earth, and I have such a peace knowing he is walking with Him now. I do not mourn as one without hope. I know that we will see him again. That he is no longer suffering and is completely healed. Even before his diagnosis, he was not able to get out and work his garden like he loved to do. He was limited in what he could do, which was driving him crazy.
The hardest part in all of this is, I desperately want my kids to remember him. Being 2 1/2 and 1 1/8 I know there is hardly a chance of that.
We have pictures and videos, which may just have to do.
My love of Christmas probably comes from Granddaddy. We had gone down Friday for an early Christmas with him on Saturday. He told my mom he wanted to rest up for it and that he was “looking forward to Christmas tomorrow”. He went to be with Jesus around midnight that night. The next day I found a poem he had written about Christmas and the greatest gift in the yard (mixed in with stuff that was going away). I may post that in the future.
Until the last couple of years, when his mobility was challenged, we waited for him to arrive to open our stockings and presents. The last couple of years we did open the stockings before he arrived, but waited for presents.
I remember my Grandma telling the story of their first Christmas without kids in the house. Granddaddy woke her up at 5 asking what it was like to sleep in on Christmas. She told him she did not know yet.
When I was little we used to drive around looking at Christmas lights. I loved the ones that went “Blinka, blinka”. He used to tease me about it every year as we saw Christmas lights begin to go up around the neighborhood.
Decorating the tree was a family event, both at our house and at Grandma and Granddaddy’s.
Christmas will be hard for me this year. This year has been chaotic to say the least, with many ups and downs. Spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. Through it all, it has been God’s peace and knowing He is Sovereign that has gotten me through it.
I wrote most of the rest of this several years ago. Okay, probably more than 10 years ago now that I really think about it. But I think it is perfect reminder for this season of my life, as it has been many times before. I have added just a bit.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders.
And he shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
When I was asked to ponder what Jesus means to me, the first thing that came to mind was friend, and he is, but God’s been showing me in the past few weeks that He’s also my Prince of Peace.
I got the song “I’ve got peace like a river” stuck in my head a couple of times in the past few weeks (and the only part I know is I’ve got peace like a river), and I was thinking about it the other day, rivers are peaceful, but they also go over rocks and hard places too.
God’s peace isn’t what we normally think peace is. We think of peace as the absence of conflict, but God’s peace goes much deeper. His peace still a troubled mind and brings a calm feeling that no matter what happens, even when life is insanely busy, or you feel as though your world is falling apart, everything will be okay, because God is in control, overseeing everything.
During this hectic season, I pray that He would be your Prince of Peace as well.