The true mark of a man is what he becomes when the constraints of society are removed. One such way this is revealed, is when a person develops Alzheimer’s disease. Today I sat with my grandfather, who no longer recognizes me, and he embodied humility, gentleness and grace. We read Romans, and marvelled together at the Good News of the hope we have in Christ Jesus.
It was an emotional time for us both, for different reasons, and I left grieving the loss of my grandfather, but with the comfort that in the twilight of his life, there is the hope of his great reward, and a joyful reunion, in due time.
The above was penned back in October, 2008. I didn’t finish the post – it was too difficult to write.
Grandfathers are an immensely valuable thread in the weft of family ties, and mine was very dear to me. He was a bridge between myself and the rest of my estranged family, always forgiving, accepting, welcoming.
I spent many, many of my school holidays on my grandparent’s farm. There were eggs to collect from the chooks, animals to play with, fruit to pick from the trees and eat as you please, and books.. The books! What a collection of treasures there was in that house! There was a wood stove, and of course a wood pile (marvels for a girl growing up in the city), and the opportunity for the kind of adventures you can’t have in a regular back yard.
When I was around 10 or 11 years old, I remember them taking me to meet a couple who were making their own mud bricks, and building an (unusual!) house with the result of their labours: they would always find the time each holiday to take us to the beach, and out to meet interesting people.
My grandfather passed on this week, and although it hurts like crazy to know that he is gone, I know that I will meet him again in the presence of our Lord. Until then, of course, it just.. . well, hurts.