Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dearly departed

A week and a half ago my mother's father passed away. He lived a long, full life- 98 years. Even when death is a relief, it still hurts as a loss.

My grandad lived a vibrant life. He overcame a lot of odds to do so. He had polio as a child, then had corrective surgery that enabled him to walk, although that involved fusing his ankle bones. He grew up without his father, and my great-grandmother and her brother, both single parents, decided to raise their families together. My grandfather and grandmother married late in life for that time- 33 and 28, and had their only child 8 years later.

They traveled a lot of the southwest. He took a ton of photographs, which I treasure. He collected guns and listened to music. He was a good worker and an honest, kind man.

His wife, my grandmother, died 11 years ago. Although it goes against what I've theologically believed most of my life, it gives me a great deal of peace to think of them being reunited in some way and resting in peace next to each other.

My grandad's life gives me hope that rough starts don't define you. An adventurous spirit can take you beyond where anyone thought you could go. And love is true and faithful.

And it was poignant to sit next to my nephew during the service. Life does go on, and though it is sometimes sad, this is the way it should be. I was reminded of the Chris Rice lyric-

Like a swing set in a graveyard, like a bloom in the desert sands, love is gonna break through.