There are no words I can say that will grasp the depths of the grief I feel.
I knew it would be hard.
I knew it would be sad.
I knew it would be awful.
I knew people would cry.
I knew people would say they’re sorry.
But I never really knew.
I can say that I’ve experienced something brand new this morning. I’ve experienced death. I’ve tasted of the last great enemy.
Sure for me death has come close. People grow old, others get into accidents, fall from buildings.
Some die peaceful deaths, others die tragic deaths. It’s all a very, very sad event. Not one that I’m a fan of at all (just between you and I, if Death were a Facebook page, I wouldn’t like it…).
The first phone call was made at 2:24 this morning by my mother. I didn’t get any of them because I was sleeping until 6:44.
I can’t imagine the pain that they’ve been going through while there. The events that must have transpired, things moved quickly, that’s all I know.
I talked with the man, my grandfather, yesterday. One of the last things he said, “All I have to do is make it to May.”
This man, for some odd reason, was so incredibly proud of me. I’ll never understand it. Just back over my February break he had talked about how he would have put aluminum siding on the house he lives in. And I said that for the month of May and June I would gladly paint the house. He said he’d buy the paint.
Every time I called home he would ask about my car. Every. Single. Stinking. Time.
But he cared about me. Wanted me to be safe.
“I always am.”
Anytime I left the house to go anywhere that’s what I would hear.
I think that he was just beginning to learn how to really say “I love you.”
He was always playful with my grandmother. Always picking on her, doing the dishes when he wasn’t supposed to while he was recovering, his hunting trips, his plowing, his family out west, all things that while although we may not ever see again, I don’t think they’ll fade for a very long time.
He was a brave and bold man.
He had been inspired to lose weight here at the end. He was doing it too, when my grandmother didn’t offer him food hahahaha, you see she’d offer him food, and being a man, he’d take it (I mean what kind of man doesn’t take food given to him from a wife of more than 55 years?).
Oh and he was looking forward to their anniversary. I don’t think my grandmother ever realized how much he loved her.
He loved her with everything he had. As far as I know, he never held anything back. Ever.
He was glad I went to Clarkson. He would always tell people about me. How I was “smart as a whip.”
He kept telling me that he was glad I was smart, that way I didn’t have to work in physical labor like he did. He wanted me to get a “desk job” of sorts. Just something where I wouldn’t have to go day in and day out shoveling or driving heavy machinery.
This man freaking loved people. Loved me. Loved family. Loved his children. Loved his wife. And loved life.
Is it sad that this was snatched away so soon after his recovery? Yeah…it’s really sad, but as long as we hold to our memories and the love we had for him, I think we’ll make it through just fine.
There’s another thing that I found out this morning. I really do believe in God. After I hung up with a tearful mother, I only had one thing running through my head.
“You are my supply, my breath of life, still more awesome than I know.”
He’s God. He can do anything he wants to. He has taken my grandfather, but I know that he will provide me with the strength to go on. He will provide all who ask with the strength to go on. And you know what, I still love Him.
Fall in His arms, and all things will fade and you will find comfort and peace. Oh, and love. You’ll find love. Blessed, sweet, redeeming love. A love you have never known before. A love I want to know even deeper.
Well, I’ll leave you now, I have things to prepare for my departure home. But here’s a song that I feel is fitting for his passing. And anyone’s passing for that matter.
And if you can’t tell, this post is dedicated to the memory of my grandfather, Walter Lewis Barker.