'Til we meet again.
Tuesday morning my Mom called to tell us it was time to drive out to Huntsville to say goodbye to Grandad. He was diagnosed with cancer last Christmas, and true to his nature, has been fighting the good fight ever since then. But he took a turn for the worse early last week, and, well, it was his time.
The day blurred together, taking shape only in segmented moments: the brilliant blue of a cloudless day, tear-spent eyes, warm, long, sincere embraces, the slow path of tears down my own face, the shock and pain at the sick man who only months ago was so vibrant. It was unifying beyond all description, to grieve and mourn and love and laugh as a family, to remember, to accept, to release to the Lord. We held his hand, and showed off babies, recounted stories and news, and in quiet moments, leaned close and whispered our love to him.
I wish I had had the courage to tell him what I was thinking. That Jesus lives. That his Atonement is real; infinite and eternal, perfect and beautiful. That God has a plan, and it doesn't end in this life, or the next. That we would see each other again. I didn't want him to know that I knew that he was dying. I wanted to pretend that our gathering together was just another day like so many others. But it wasn't. And he knew it. And I knew it.
Charlotte did, too. She cooed at Grandad and held his hand, staring past his broken body, mesmerized, into his sentient eyes. And I wondered what she saw. The only time I heard him speak was when the baby was in the room. He lit up. Their spirits connected beyond the rest of us there that day. Perhaps communicating those same thoughts that were at the forefront of my own mind. This is not the end, just the next step on the path back Home.