She sat her designer jeans right down on the dirty tiled floor. Our knees nearly touching as she matched my folded leg position. Her hand gently rubbed my no-name denim as she said softly, “Tell me about him. I want to know everything.” And she leaned in to hear my reply.
I met her gaze through blurred eyes. Striving to see how she managed to turn this run-down restroom into a private sanctuary. Her eyes told me she meant it. She wanted to hear why I loved my great-grandpa so. Why it hurt so much to say good-bye.
He smelled of raw onions and juicy fruit gum. Even while in his favorite rocker, his hard-working hands always stayed busy. He would twiddle them in time to the rocker. Smooth, steady. Mesmerizing.
I’m sure my incessant singing came from him. For he always had a tune to share. A lesson to reveal through song.
The Saturday mornings he would come over on his four-wheeler were always my favorite. He would bring freshly baked, sticky cinnamon rolls and love on my dog while we ate. Then, wheeler rides for everyone! I had no idea what a blessing it was to have them live on the same street as me. Two sets of grandparents on the same street…
I learned how to share him at church when the line to greet him each Sunday grew longer. For he always had Tootsie rolls for every child. He’d manage to sneak me more than one, plus a stick of gum and I would know. I made his world spin round.
He lost his sight in later years, but could still see right through me. He was more than a great-grandpa. He was a part of me. I loved him dearly. And he knew how to love me.
To say that out loud somehow made my heart feel whole again. The memories of love filled the emptiness and caused the sparkle in my eye to return. And I was finally able to pick myself up off that floor.
I was barely a teenager when I learned this powerful lesson. That God could fill the hole left behind if you exude the love experienced with the one you miss dear. Acknowledging their significance brings glory to their Creator and He will make sure you know that. The love He receives through it will be lavished right back onto you.
It’s healing’s greatest ointment. The salve that protects the wound left behind.
And when you feel blessed to simply have experienced that love at all. When you come to the point of praise, of thanking God for bringing that one into your life, you will witness the pain of grief transforming into joy.
God couldn’t agree more the one you miss is worth the pain of grief. To Him, they were worth the price. . .
How about you? I would be honored if you would tell me about someone you have loved and lost.
Have you found the joy of grieving? I’d love to hear.
Thanks for sharing your time with me.