Tears dried like saltwater on my face. The grief hit me tonight. Somewhat unexpectantly. I was tired after a long day and even more tired after a long month. It’s hard to believe that it is only February . . .
My tank top was wet with the droplets running down my cheeks unhindered by Kleenex or calm. I don’t feel certain about much of anything right now. Where I want to work. Where I want to plant roots. What I want to be when I grow up.
Whatever I do, though, I will do it without the earthly presence of my grandfather cheering me on. Some of that reality hit tonight. Standing in my kitchen. Dishes piled high. Sobs filling the air. This summer I will finally earn the master’s that he wanted to me to receive. I plan on mailing a copy of that long desired piece of paper to my grandmother. In remembrance. In reverence. In thanksgiving.
I want to finish what my grandfather started . . .
Life is frail. A good friend’s husband is in ICU after a heart attack. Another friend is looking for normalcy after losing a child. Yet, another sweet friend is drowning her pain in drink and self-destruction.
Life hurts. I nearly watched my other grandfather slip away. His heart rate dropped dangerously low. His body filled with toxins. As a doctor himself, he wrote himself prescriptions for pain meds when he could no longer tolerate the excruciating pain wracking his body.
I can’t imagine life without him right now. God is good in that He has not asked me to face that yet. My living grandfather has also been my long-distance doctor for so many years. Though I’ve lived away from home since I was sixteen, I’ve been able to call him from the four corners of the U.S. and get medical advice and grandfatherly love. He’d tell me that he was sorry I was sick, but that “I would be fine.” Always that mantra: “You’ll be fine. It’s okay.” More recently, I’ve sought his advice for the infertility issues that I’m facing. He was one of the world’s leading infertility specialists (more specifically, one of the top three endocrinologists) before he finally retired. Now, after following his advice for months over the phone, I can’t imagine getting pregnant and not being able to set that sweet infant in his waiting arms. My heart breaks just imagining.
Life is filled with the unexpected. Unexpected grief. Unexpected joy. Unexpected gifts. I didn’t expect to lose Grandpa Jack. I didn’t expect to need the infertility expertise of Grandpa Bill. I didn’t realize I would walk beside so many friends after they suffered miscarriages and tragedies. I also didn’t realize how much I would thrive in everyday life. I didn’t expect to love a unadventerous life. I didn’t expect to find my husband, the love of my life, so soon.
Life is filled with a prayer and a song. I find it as I lay on my bedroom floor. Worshipping. Praying. Asking for life. Frail life. Life vulnerable to hurt. Unexpected life, yet life full of expectation.
Life is found somewhere amidst the deluge of pain and the raindrops of hope . . . I hear the rhythm of Heaven. My grandfather’s Heaven. My friend’s baby’s Heaven. My Heaven. Amidst a prayer and a song. Life sinks in.