Death.

I am back from an almost 2 week hiatus from my blog. Almost 3 weeks ago now, I was notified that my granddad had another stroke, but this time it was really bad. He was moved to hospice care, where he spent 11 of the best last days anyone could have. I was on standby for almost a week, before I couldn’t take it anymore.

If I haven’t mentioned how amazing Husband is by now, this would be a good point to insert that in. Husband loaded everything in his brand new 4Runner, puppy princess included, and we just drove. And we drove and drove and drove. I don’t have a good concept of space when it comes to reading a map, but North Carolina looks a lot closer to Austin, Texas on a map, than it is actually driving it. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention that my dog is so spoiled she doesn’t know how to relieve herself on a leash, and held it for almost 24 hours… So anyways, we made it in 2 days, around 10:30pm EST.

** EST sucks BTW **

After unloading the car, my mom and I went straight to the hospice, getting there around midnight and not leaving until 4am. My granddad told the nurses the next day that we gave him a party. See, he couldn’t talk really, or move, or swallow, but he could blink, and smile, and raise his eye brows and furrow his brow, and tap his left big toe to old gospel music to let us know he was still in there.

** When asked if I was his favorite, he gave me a wink and a big smile. 😉 **

Just to hold his hand one last time was worth it. He took his last breaths with his wife, daughter, granddaughter and great granddaughter all holding hands around him; Husband was there for moral support, but I saw him shed a tear or two. Most told me to not be there, that it was too grim to see, or hear. But it wasn’t that way for me. It was so obvious that suddenly he was no longer in his body. It was a beautiful and relaxing moment knowing there was no more pain or physical restraints.

Under the Carolina Blue Sky

Viewing

He had a glorious military funeral, where I kept it together until they played the taps. And the military men and women there saluted the casket. And two of those men folded up the flag and presented it to my grandmother, tearily thanking her for his service. It was beyond perfect.

Preparing the Flag

Presenting the Flag

Folding the Flag

Duty Honor Country

My grandmothers eulogy about her dad, my granddad, was so beautiful, I had to ask her permission to share it with you all. If you wanted to know just a glimpse of my granddad as a person, this was him:

Meeting each other while working at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Dallas was a Divine Appointment for my parents. The first time he asked her for a date she said, “No”. But Dad began to pursue her with that God given spiritual gift of friendship and she finally agreed to go out with him on their first date, another Divine Appointment, on October 10th and they got married less than a month later on November 12th in 1947. Two days after that first date…another Divine Appointment…he invited her to go to church and then after church to meet his parents and have Sunday dinner with them.
 
My dad was born and raised in the very small town of Josephine, TX. It only had two churches, one Baptist and one Methodist. Both churches were too small to have a full time pastor so one Sunday God’s church in Josephine would worship in the Baptist church and the next Sunday they would worship in the Methodist church. My dad’s family were Methodist and his parents had had him baptized as an infant with water from the River Jordan but My mother was raised in the Baptist church near Abilene, TX which was over 200 miles from Josephine. When they arrived at her Baptist Church my mom had been attending on Sundays, my dad discovered that her pastor had been his Baptist pastor every other Sunday for years back home in Josephine.
 
A Divine Appointment is ‘a meeting’ which was inspired and God led. God is sovereign; He is all knowing and all-powerful. Every person here experienced a Divine Appointment when they met my dad. His spiritual gifts of friendship, mercy and compassion touched all of our lives in such a special way. The gift of compassion moves people to action on behalf of those in need. Compassion is not a simple caring about others, but such a radical caring that we have no choice but to make sacrifices for others. Those with the gift of compassion rarely ask “Should I help,” but instead focus on how to help. Compassion makes us fundamentally aware of Christ in others and springs from our desire to care for all of God’s creatures and creation. The possibilities of Divine Appointments are endless! If we are willing to be led by the Holy Spirit, great things are possible. 
 
My dad had great love and compassion for the Lord his God, his family, his friends, strangers that God placed in his path, and this nation that he was willing to give his life for through his service. Throughout the Bible there are many examples of Divine Appointments. Time after time God leads the faithful to cross another person’s path and great things happen! When we walk in the Spirit God can and does do the impossible and the unexpected.
 
I had just finished reading the 23rd Psalm to Dad last Thursday morning when he experienced his final Divine Appointment here on this earth when suddenly he opened his eyes and looked up as his precious Lord took him to his eternal home. In the Book of Revelation Chapter 4, Verse 1 the Apostle John tells us: “After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said. “Come up here”…
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