When my sister gave me the news of my grandfather's passing, my heart sank.
Through the pain and sorrow of his departure, however, there still remains a gratitude and joy to have known and loved him.
It's hard to talk about but I really want to share just how wonderful he was.
My grandfather read the Bible every day and he had a great faith and beautiful relationship with God. He not only knew the verses, he lived by them. As we mourned together, my sisters and I asked each other if we could recall a negative memory of him. None of us could think of anything. He was such a kind, loving, patient man. Not even as a teenager was I ever annoyed by him.
He always gave us love and understanding, even when we were less than perfect, and he gave that to everyone he encountered.
He was an exemplary man. Everyone who knew him, loved him instantly. He was the most perfect person I have ever met, he knew how to make people feel safe and happy, he accepted life for what it was and did his best at everything.
He loved us without restraint.
And I watched how he received back everything he put forth. His life was so full of blessings, the type of little blessings his beloved Bible had promised him. God as his friend never let him down, accompanying him through the rough patches (that he never begrudged) and granting him wonderful time with a big family.
I am hurt and want to mourn, but there is no way I can mourn having been so blessed to have someone like him in my life. Someone who loved me, taught me, made me fruit jams and bean sandwiches, bought me snacks, made a bed for me to sleep over at his house, told me about the figures of legends that he had encountered, about our family history. All the love he gave me, I can only be ever so happy. And he deserves to rest.
He had a long, happy life, full of adventures. He used to say he had lived all life had to offer, that he was content. That he wanted to join the love of his life, my grandmother, whom he lost fifteen years ago.
If ever there is one person I believe with all my heart is sitting under the promised fig tree, resting under its shade, with a beautiful sunset and a warm breeze in the garden of Heaven, it is him.
Rest happily. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.