Just over a week ago, I attended the funeral of my closest cousins’ grandfather. We grew up very close so I knew him as a child and was happy to honor his memory. I sat behind my cousins and watched them shed tears as they made peace with the finality of the moment.
As I left the funeral home, I cried too, but for a different reason. Watching people very close to me grieve the loss of someone dear to them made me realize I was lacking something. I don’t have a grandfather.
I had no relationship with my biological father so by extension, no relationship with his dad. As most of my readers know, I was raised by the man who chose to be my father, (not a step-dad,never, ever call him that, he is my dad). His father, my Pa-paw passed away when I was young. He was a very quiet man and difficult to get close to. Not because he wasn’t loving, he just wasn’t expressive with his feelings, if you know what I mean. When he passed, I don’t remember feeling sad because I was too young to really grasp what was going on and we didn’t have that closeness that some do with their grand-dads. Then there would be my mom’s father. I will not share personal details of my mother’s story but this man was not someone I cared to know nor was he someone we were ever around.
And that’s it. I can’t really say why this sudden realization saddened me, but it did. I wanted those precious memories that my cousins will now cherish. I wanted the words of wisdom that can only come from an older, wiser, more seasoned generation. I have no old phrases that “grandpa used to say.” So my ride home became a time of mourning that day as my heart ached for something I would never have.
Death has a way of doing that, doesn’t it? It makes you think on things that would normally escape your attention or that you would typically push deep down inside the safety of your heart. A blogging friend shared this quote yesterday and it gripped me at my core:
There is a wealth of unexpressed love in the world. It is one of the chief causes of sorrow evoked by death: what might have been said or might have been done that never can be said or done.
“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.”
(Psalms 39:4-5 NLT)
I pray that it doesn’t take death to make us appreciate life. My hope is that I will learn to cherish each moment I am given and that I will never waste an opportunity to show love. If our lives are but a moment, wouldn’t it be a shame to waste it?
As for my hurting heart from the lack of grandfatherly love, you never know, the Lord may just place a surrogate in my life. He loves me that much.