My grandfather has been given a couple of days to live. A week back, he was hit with a huge stroke that has left him partially paralyzed and generally unresponsive to cues. He spends most of his time with his eyes closed, but occasionally will open them to the world. My family in Minnesota has been by his side, showering him with love and presence. My grandma, who has been married to my grandpa for nearly 70 years is by his side bringing love, but is struggling to overcome her own issues that naturally come when you know you are imminently going to lose your spouse and best friend. These have been trying days.
I shared the gospel with my grandfather a couple of times…I wrote him letters that I felt God wanted me to…and have prayed for him. Those in my family feel that he knew Jesus and relied on Him as Savior. I hope and have prayed this is true.
When I found out about his imminent death, I was overcome with grief. I haven’t lost a family member since my dad died when I was very young. I was too young to even remember him, so this is actually the first death of a family member I will have to process and find God in. I guess we will see where my faith lies when the rubber hits the road….God gave me a clear refrain to pray, that I have continued to pray even up to this moment: “God, have mercy…Lord, have mercy..” That has been my plea and petition this past week. I prayed to the Lord from the depths of my heart last night, forgetting using graceful words or eloquent speech..and that is the closest I have felt His presence for a while. God, have mercy.
My grandfather can be remembered for a lot of things. He was a self-made successful businessman, a faithful husband for countless years, a shining example of dedication and perseverance. However, I will remember him as a man who loved me and others in our family deeply. I was adopted into the Walsh family over 30 years ago, and not for one day have I ever felt like an outsider. And my grandfather is a big part of that. He loved me with a fierce and devoted love. When I think and reflect upon that reality, I am comforted that his love for me is representative of God’s love for me. I was adopted into my earthly family at birth, and have since been adopted into a heavenly family..for which I have nothing but thankfulness in my heart for.
I love you so much. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for loving our family. Thank you for all of the beautiful memories and loving-kindness you gave. You are in my heart always…I will tell my son Judah about the legacy and heritage you gave us. I will lead and love my family, through the power of Jesus, the way you lead and loved grandma and all of us.
Your loving grandson,