I am choosing to take a break from the book “A Grace Disguised” and wanted to talk about someone very special in my life that passed away Friday morning. Yes it is indeed another loss and for my family it just doesn’t stop.
My grandfather passed away Friday and just on the heels of my step-grandmother who passed away in late November. It of course falls in what I refer as the dark times for me as this is the time when I lost my mother and my daughter. I have gained two more reasons to not like this time of year. I spend many a day pining for January.
My grandfather and I were estranged for so many years due to various family reasons that I will not go into now. It didn’t help much that I lived out-of-state and didn’t travel back to Indiana but maybe one to two times a year. With such a big family to see, I spent my time with immediate family members.
It was only after my mother died that my relationship with my grandfather began to grow. I recall it being a very difficult thing for him to experience. Losing his daughter, my mother, so young truly was hard on him. I think it really solidified for him the sadness he had on his heart that their relationship hadn’t been a better one.
Once my family had moved from Dallas, Chicago and finally Michigan, trips to Indy were much easier and happened on more of a regular basis. So on every trip down we would stop in Anderson to see granddad and Irene. Brittany always looked forward to those trips. She enjoyed getting to know her grandparents.
Brittany only knew her father’s parents well and grandparents. Since my mother was gone before she was born, she only knew of her. My father and I are estranged, even to this day. For other reasons I will not get into here. So our trips to Indy always included a stop in Anderson.
Once Brittany’s father and I were divorced, I began making more trips down and visiting more with granddad. We would talk often about my mom and he would tell me stories. Always with a tear in his eye he would talk about how much he loved her and I felt that.
Brittany would spend time with him and he would teach her things like how to shoot a BB gun out in the back yard. She reveled in the fact that he would take her outside and spend quality time with her. She loved him dearly.
I have some really great photos of them together and two in particular made into her memory book. I will cherish those moments of them forever in my heart. I sit here with tears streaming down my face because the life I once knew is just that a memory, a moment in time that hurts like hell and no one really knows to the depths that my pain goes.
After Brittany died in 2006, my first visit with granddad was so very emotional. I recall as our eyes met, and the tears began to fall, that he knew my pain and I understood his for the first time. We both lost our girls. It was the bond that tied us so closely together and I think for the most part it was unspoken. We just knew.
Over the past four years as I have grieved the loss of my daughter, it has been my grandfather that has been most helpful in my feelings of being validated. That the pain and sorrow in my heart and that permeates my life was something he understood. I didn’t have to say a word. Now that one person who understood is gone too. And that is such a loss for me.
I wished I had seen him more often, but as life has it way of keeping one busy. My life has been crazy busy for the past few years. And I won’t apologize for it as it is what keeps me from going absolutely crazy insane from the sorrow I live with daily. But it has kept me from developing deeper relationships with those I love. I have a fear that when I let those close to me into my life in a deeper way – that they will die. Because it is what I have experienced.
Now I know that is ridiculous to hear and it is ridiculous for me to believe. So I work on that daily. I pray about it often and I talk about it with someone when I need to. As I always say my life is a work in progress. My faith in God carries me when I cannot take another moment of sorrow. It is God who lifts me up and brings me through.
Now my faith may look different to some of you who either know me or who read my blog regularly, but my faith – it is a simple faith. It isn’t all decorated up in man-made rules. It just simply knowing who God is and who He wants me to be. Shinning the light into a dark world by loving and loving only. No judgment, hate, discrimination – just simple love and acceptance. That is what I know is true. Anything else is just hypocrisy.
So to my grandfather – thank you for understanding me and thank you for the bond we had as it has helped me become who I am today. May you rest in peace and I know without a doubt you had one heck of a receiving party at the gates of Heaven. I know for sure my Brittany and mom were some of the first to greet you.
until next time,