One year ago, my grandpa passed away. He was ready to go. I wasn’t so ready…
When Grandpa died, I was happy for him because I knew that he was ready to go Home and he had gone to be with his Saviour. However, I was anything but happy for myself. In a way, I guess I felt cheated. I wanted my grandpa to be a part of my future. I wanted him to — one day — meet the man I would marry and approve of my choice. I wanted Grandpa to be at my wedding. I wanted my children to have the chance to know him. I wanted so much…
It took a while for me to stop pitying myself and think of how blessed I’ve been. If not for the grace of God, I would’ve never even known my grandpa. A few years before I was born, my grandpa had cancer. The doctors told him that he might live a year. Surprising many, he lived much longer; and I was granted 20 1/2 years with him. I could’ve had a grandpa who was grouchy or hateful or mean, but he was none of those things. Never was I given any reason to doubt his love for me. He was proud of me and encouraged me to do what I love.
Looking back, I realize that there were some important things to learn from Grandpa.
1. Words aren’t as important as actions. Grandpa rarely said the words “I love you” to me, but his actions said them loud and clear. He never told me, “I am a Christian”, but I never doubted that he was. His actions did more to convince me than his words ever could have done.
2. Time with your loved ones is precious, don’t waste it. I can’t count the times (especially during the last few months of his life) that I saw my Grandpa hold my Grandma’s hand or kiss her on the cheek or something similar. It was so sweet to see him do that. I loved to sit back and watch them… I know they loved each other and they weren’t afraid to let it show. I’m thankful that they let us see that.
3. Do your best to leave behind a legacy you and your family can be proud of. Make sure that people will not be ashamed to say, “I knew that person” or “I was kin to that person”. I have never been ashamed or embarrassed to say, “That is my grandpa.” I’ve actually had people tell me, “I wish my grandpa was like yours.” I’m proud of my grandpa. I’ve never heard him called worthless, a liar, a cheater, or a bum. People don’t remember him for being unfaithful, mean, abusive, ungrateful, unforgiving, unreliable… They remember him with love and affection. And that’s the way it should be.