This week my mom, two younger siblings and myself had to travel over 600 miles to say goodbye.
We planned this trip actually half a month ago when Grandpa was still with us, traveling to see him one last time and tell him we love him, just once more. But we weren't given that chance and now we travel the same distance, this time to say a much more permanent goodbye.
On this earth.
As we drove, my heart was torn. On one hand I am excited to see family again--we were just there ten months or so ago--it's going to be great.
But on the other hand, while life will go on, this is the end of a relationship with a man that took me and my family into his family and heart. I'm not techinically his granddaughter. He isn't technically my mom's mom. But he is in all the ways that count. He took in a young girl (my mom) when her home life was anything but sane. Both he and my grandmother have been our rock, our true grandparents.
It's hard to say "Grandma and Grandpa" and realize that it's now only "Grandma."
We're not tied to this earth. We go when God chooses and Grandpa was ready. His body was tired and his heart keen for his Savior's arms.
It's not easy to say goodbye, knowing it will be the last time you utter those words to this person who wrapped their arms around you when you didn't even have an honest-to-goodness family connection. I think the heart is the strongest connection of all.
Saying goodbye is a part of life. It's learning to accept and live with that goodbye that makes it so much harder.
But the joyous news is: we don't have to dwell on "goodbye". Because in Christ there are NO goodbyes. No permanent ones, just the ones here on earth.
So let me love deeply for a few more days and when the moment comes to say goodbye, may it be one filled with HOPE and PROMISE and LOVE.
27 minutes ago