Today, my grandpa died.
We have known this was going to happen for a while. In the spring, he was diagnosed with a pretty progressive cancer as well as dementia. This past Fourth of July, we traveled to Atlanta, where my grandparents live, to spend time with them. We were fully aware that this was probably going to be the last time we would see Papaw, so we took advantage of every moment.
Papaw had the bluest eyes that twinkled when he was excited. He introduced me to my first bite of steak (which was delicious, of course). He was an avid Ham Radio operator. I remember sitting in the car with him, or listening to him late at night, as he used his call sign to talk to truckers passing through or other amateur radio enthusiasts. He also loved cars. He street raced as a young man. Every time I talked to him after I got my license, our conversations always seemed to land on how my car was doing. Even when his memory was fading, he could still remember the make and model of the car I drive.
He was a man of God. I know this not just by watching him pray and study scripture growing up. I know this because of the legacy he left in my father. I know that part of the reason my dad is the Christian leader that he is today is because of my grandpa. My grandpa led others to Christ. He always tried to do the right thing.
He was always calm and kind to me. I can’t remember a moment that he spoke harshly to me. All I can remember is his laugh, and his calm voice and demeanor.
I was thinking today how sad I am that we don’t have children who will know my grandpa. Then I realized that actually, my grandpa will know my daughter even before I do. It brings the happiest tears to my face. And someday we will all be reunited. That is the hope we have in the resurrection. Christ defeated death. He defeated despair. He gave us a hope and a peace that passes all understanding. I am so grateful to have known my grandfather on this earth. I am so grateful that I got to say goodbye to him last month. And I am so grateful that we will be reunited again one day in heaven.