Sunday, September 16, 2007

Grief and Joy

This photo is of my grandpa, Harlowe, two weeks ago. I went to spend the weekend with him and my grandma after she had major heart surgery. It was great just being with them again. My grandpa and I went out to the farm to watch my uncle and cousin roofing the barn, we went searching for horses to look at, bought doughnuts instead of healthy food at the grocery store, and took naps on the couch. Late this past Thursday night he had a massive stroke and passed away yesterday morning. He is with Jesus now!! My mom was able to go and say goodbye on Friday. Grandpa was unconscious, but we think he was able to hear and she gave him messages from us. She told him Josh followed his advice. You see, last year he was in the hospital for a while and Josh and I went to see him. He was in great spirits and we talked all afternoon. We talked about relationships and Josh asked what advice Grandpa had, considering he and my grandma were married 60 years! "Well," he said, "I just knew I had to marry a pretty one. After all, I figured the kids needed at least half a chance!" :) He was too funny. From me my mom told him that when I marry, I want it to be a man like him. That is as true as true could be. The way he loved my grandma was a beautiful thing to behold, while still being a strong leader. He taught me so much about God, not so much by saying anything, but just by living. I wish I could have told him myself, but we needed to stay home to continue preparing the farm for Josh and Sarah's reception.

It has been a rat race all week! Tonight it is all over. The last guests have gone home... no more baking, no more sweeping, no more scrubbing, no more battles with spider webs in corners of buildings where no one would ever go but it just needed to be clean IN CASE:). In every way I'm just exhausted beyond words. I remember the last time I was this tired. It was in Mozambique, and we had just had an intensely hard week. Then to top it off there was a day of chaos and demands from dawn until long past dark. I collapsed into bed, tucked in my mosquito net, and cried myself to sleep:). Sarah loves to tell that story now.

Everyone has been so good to us as we have been juggling a strange mix of grief and joy. We feel very blessed and celebrate all that God has done. He has given us Sarah, and He has taken Grandpa HOME. Blessed be the name of the LORD.

Please pray for my mom specifically, as she and her dad were very close. Also of course for my grandma, Helen. She came to the reception today and is doing well, but I cannot imagine losing my husband of 60 years. She misses him. The memorial service is tomorrow night and the funeral is on Tuesday. After that we will crash.

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