i don't claim to know it all. i don't claim to be perfect. i just claim to love jesus.

Monday, February 27, 2012

always healing

i guess i "knew" that you really don't ever "get over" a death. but i didn't realize how hard it would be to have lost both of my grandparents.

when my grandma died, about eight and a half years ago, i was devestated. and it was as hard thing to get through. but since my grandpa was still alive i always had that little "piece" of my grandma yet. then this summer my grandpa died.

and it's weird. it's really weird. to have only one set of grandparents. to not be able to drive over and visit my grandpa anymore. to not have a "piece" of the set left. 

the other week i had shaun hook up an old computer of ours to get the pictures off of it. as i looked through the pictures of the girls i was amazed just how much they've grown up over the past few years. and then a picture of my grandpa came up with the three girls. i tried to go through it quickly, but yet i couldn't. i stopped and stared at the huge smile on his face, his eyes not looking at the camera but at his beautiful great-grandbaby.

and i bawled. i realized at that moment how much i still miss them. how i don't think i will ever be over it. and how i'm always healing from it. and like shaun said, it's normal. it's okay. as he held me in his arms.

my heart still aches for my grandparents. i know without a doubt they are enjoying eternity in heaven, so it's not that i want them back here...it's much better where they are. BUT i still have an aching for them. i can't even explain it.

it's amazing though how when i am missing them a bit more than "normal" God places things in my path to remind me of them. yesterday at walmart i saw an older gentleman. he was voicing his concern with the manager.it really wasn't much of a concern, just saying how someone should fix the wheels on the carts with a little oil and some tools. he was completely serious, and the manager was astounding. he thanked the man for his concern and told him he agreed. etc etc.

i walked away thinking how my grandpa would've done the same thing. and how the manager showed the man respect and didn't discount him, or talk about him after he walked away. and of course as i walked away i saw the cutest little lady looking at magazines. who...you guessed it...could've been my grandma. i smiled. and teared up. and was thankful for the memories i have with my grandparents. ((before i left the store i saw the store manager again, and told him i appreciated how he handled that older man and may or may not have cried while telling him this.))

yesterday was my grandpa's birthday. so i think i may have been more emotional anyways. my dad and aunt's birthday were also yesterday. the ages were 89,59,49. growing up we got together often for the three birthdays. and i can still picture the pictures of the past birthdays in my head. my grandpa was a very quiet man, but you could see the joy radiating from him.

the joy was dampered quite a bit when my grandma died. but whenever i saw him, he always had a smile on his face. you never had to wonder whether he, or they, loved you. you could see and feel it. my grandma suffered from dementia for the last few years of her life. it was some of the hardest things i had to deal with. i've heard it said, "why do you even go there? it's not like she/he knows you." and with that i say...absolutely she/he does. each time i visited my grandma i could see it in her eyes. she may not have known my name, or placed me. but she *knew* i belonged to her somehow. that's why i kept visiting. so she knew the people that belonged to her, still loved her. that even though somehow things were jumbled up in her head...we were still there for her. nothing blessed me more than to see her smile at me when i walked into her room at the nursing home.

i can only hope i am as good of grandparents as they were. my parents never had to pay for daycare, becuase we went to my grandparents house. they lovingly and willingly took us in. my grandpa would pick us up from school when needed. and if we had to sleep over the sheets always smelled freshly washed. we coined the term "stinky sheets" for that, even though the stink is a good smell. :) my grandma always had cookies in the freezer. and candy in the closet. and sprinkles for the ice cream. and lemonade in the fridge. i hold dear these memories and am so thankful for each one of them.

so always healing. i am. we are. we can. we will. i don't think the memories will stop popping up in my head. but i think they will stop making me cry as much. i know it's okay to cry, but sometimes when you're in the middle of walmart, it's hard to really cry. ;)

the one thing i wonder, is when does the surprise cry go away? or does it? does it just get less? does it not surprise you as much? i guess i'm just surprised at how much it has happened in the past months since my grandpa died. i don't remember it much after my grandma died, but i was also a month away from my wedding and preoccupied with a lot of that.

*sigh* that feels better. :) to pour out my heart and put my thoughts on this page has blessed me through the past years, and it does again today. thanks for listening. :)

2 loving words from you.:

Cheryl said...

Lovely post about a special couple.

I have lost a son and even though it has been over three years since he died, I am overwhelmed at times and cry when I see something that reminds me of my little Caleb, or if someone might say something that makes me think of him, etc.

I don't think that will ever go away. As silly as it may sound, I would almost be sad if it did. The raw emotions remind me of the great love I have for him.

With love and Hope,

Stephanie said...

I get this...completely. Last night, I was feeling so overwhelmed and anxious about several big things that are hard in my life right now...and suddenly I started talking about my grandma and as tears choked my words I said "I...still...miss...her...so...much" and I couldn't stop the tears. And as I cried Ted reminded me how much she loved me and loved our kids and that we were all blessed to know her. Some days that ache in my heart is so big and so hard to deal with...and then there are days when the ache doesn't seem so huge - when I can laugh and smile and remember the good times with a happy heart. But there's always a bittersweet-ness to the remembering now. My parents are putting their house up for sale this week - the home I grew up in...and are getting my grandparents home ready to become their home. I've known that day would come for a long time now, but it doesn't really make it easier. Because every time I walk into my grandparents home it feels so empty and so different...it will never be the same. It will become my parents' home...but it will always be my grandparents' home in my heart. Ted told me once that the hole in my heart that aches so much will never go away...that life will fill my heart with new blessings that will make that hole seem not so big...but it will always be there. My pastor told me once that even ten years after his mom died he still cries unexpectedly, because he will never stop missing her.