As Christian as it is…

Can we go on like it once was?

That’s part of “Another Story,” one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite bands—The Head and the Heart. Every time I hear it, from the very first word, I think of my grandparents Mom-Mom and Pop. I think about the house they lived in for a hundred years it seems. Pop built the house with his own two hands. Does anyone still do that? I miss him and think about him pretty much every day. He died earlier this year. A couple of weeks ago Mom-Mom followed him up to Heaven and now I’m faced with the sobering reality that all of my grandparents are gone. Did I learn enough from them? Did I sit and listen to them talk when I had the chance? I will say this: I was blessed beyond compare that my grandparents were part of my life. That they took interest in me as a sometimes bratty child, a sometimes bratty adult. I’m not glossing over the fact that any time spent with them was a gift because grandparents like Mom-Mom and Pop, and Me-Mom and GrandDaddy can’t be common. I refuse to believe anyone else has grandparents as loving, as funny, as devoted to the family and devoted to God as mine were. That will always be a sparkle on the memory I have of them. As Christian as it is to say, “They’re in a better place,” I still miss them. I’m sad.

I’m doing pretty good at distracting myself from thinking about the loss too much, but then I’ll smell Pop’s Sunday church cologne. Or catch a scent that reminds me of their house in Monticello, Florida. I’ll hear GrandDaddy’s southern voice recalling his time in World War II. Or Me-Mom telling stories about me as a child. In those moments I want to go back. I want to go on like it once was. But I can’t. Time doesn’t move that way. I can only hope the memories don’t disappear. And what I can take from this feeling of loss is to carry on the family name. To carry my grandfather’s pocket knife. To see gray hair on my head as a blessing that I might get to live as old as they did. To have my nieces and nephew think of me the way I think of my grandparents. Yes, I try to be fun. Yes, I’m up for adventures. But just as important, I love them. And I love God. I will not stray from that. I will not stray from Him. I can’t.

This is 2014 and I’m 35 years old. I know I’ll look back and see this as a pivotal year for me. I’m excited about that, but sure do wish my grandparents were here to see it.

-Out of the Wilderness

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