From a Mother's Heart to her Daughters....
As you can see from my last post to you, something has gotten in the way of my writing to you. Its a time I wish we had never lived through. As a spiritual person, much less a hospice nurse, I would have thought death to be a little more easy to handle. It has devastated my world.
Even now, more than a month later, the tears just flow and you know your mother is not one to cry. My faith and my relationship with God has carried me through so much in life yet the devastation of losing your grandpa, my dad, has crushed me emotionally and spiritually.
Maybe if his sudden illness had given us time to prepare I would be stronger? Probably not. The frequent traveling of this job has not helped. I needed to be near you, near Joe. Some days I feel as if I can't catch my breath when I allow myself to think about my father, your grandpa.
I learned so much from my father. I wish you could have experienced him as I did. Our pastor Michael Craft a few years ago in a Father's Day message stated that often our own view of God when we are children is learned from our earthly father. I guess that's why it has been so easy for me to see God as good and loving even in the roughest of times. Grandpa will be the first to tell you he wasn't perfect but I will be the first to tell you he was the perfect daddy.
This is what I most remember about your grandpa:
- He loved unconditionally: You could not do anything to lose his love
- He was forgiving-he never held anything against you, even if you wronged him
- He was supportive: He may not have like or approve of your decisions but he would always be there when you saw for yourself that there were better options
- He always prayed for you-he told you so
- He was patient, kind and long-suffering
- He was attentive and could pick up on the unspoken word
- He generous, giving of his time to serve someone in need
- He was selfless and always put others first
- He was a man of commitment, be it to grandma, his family, his church, his work
- He was diligent and prudent with his life
- He was not known to swear
- He was an encourager, he only had your best interest at hand
- He was faithful, never knew a stranger and was every one's friend
- He was content with what he had and wasn't afraid to work harder for something he wanted
- He was obedient to those in authority over him
- He knew how to use discernment & sensitivity with life's issues
- He was thankful
- He was a peace-maker
- He was thoughtful and kind, even when he didn't feel like it
- He was godly and full of grace
- He was dependable
- He was fair to everyone
- He was courageous in life
- He was self-controlled and slow to anger (I don't ever remember him in an angry fit)
- He was faithful and honest
- He was understanding-he was tolerant without compromising his own beliefs
- He communicated with tenderness and authority
- He was a man of utmost integrity
- He was a respectable
- He was teachable and he was the teacher
- He lived a life of conviction and humility
- He was reverent to the things of God
Can we learn from grandpa's life? Grandpa would guide us to put our focus back on Christ, the healer of our grief. When Jesus walked this earth, He was all those things above plus He was Holy-Perfect. When He left this earth He said "Follow ME"...in other words, be Jesus to this world. That is how grandpa lived his life.
If we could only come close to measuring up to that kind of legacy...what an honor it would be not only to grandpa but to the name of Christ. I am choosing to trust God with my grief. I am choosing to follow in my daddy's footstep and in my Heavenly Fathers footsteps. I hope my legacy to you from this day forward leaves the same kind of impression on you that your grandpa has left on us.
But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief,
that you may take it into your hands;
the helpless commit themselves to you;
you have been the helper of the orphan. Ps 10:14 (NRSV)
I love you...