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