Monday, July 29, 2013

Goodbye from Afar

On 25 July, my maternal grandfather died.  With his rapidly declining health, we knew it was coming but somehow part of me kept hoping that he’d recover and allow me to see him again…in a year or so?  Sigh….

Saying “goodbye” from halfway around the world is a bit surreal.  Nothing changes in my life here to mark that he was here with us one day…but today he is gone.  I find that I’m most sorry for myself.  Is that wrong?  That I can’t celebrate his life with the rest of the family, and mourn the empty spot he leaves.

Actually, I think I began mourning 2 years ago when I said my final goodbye to in person.  We had just spent a wonderful month on the family homestead helping out and reconnecting with friends and family in the area.  We spent a lot of time sitting on that swing set talking and reminiscing.


And when it came time to leave, Grandpa asked us again why we had to go all the way to Papua New Guinea.  Did we like it better over there?

“No, Grandpa, home is always best, but the people of Papua New Guinea need to read the Bible in their own language.”  We hugged and said we’d be back in 3 years.  Grandpa commented that he didn’t think he’d be around when we came back.  I protested mildly that I hoped it wouldn’t be true…but I think we both knew he was probably right.

You were right, Grandpa.  But I thank God for all the wonderful memories and time spent with you.  You will be greatly missed!


cjb said...

This makes me cry, wishing you were able to be here. Life in the family will never be quite the same. Love you, Mom

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