Friday, October 15, 2010

Death to Life

A weird title, I know...but something that has been so very real to me here recently. As stated a couple of posts ago, God has been bringing me to death in many areas lately. And at the same time I have been beginning to experience new life (the kind of life that He intended) like never before. Praise Him! One particular way that this has taken place was just last night.

The picture above is of me and my grandpa (my mom's dad), who I have referred to as "Papa" all my life. He has been sick for awhile now and I have enjoyed taking care of him as much as I could. Well, a couple of weeks ago he took a turn for the worse and with in the past few days he began declining very rapidly. Last Sunday I spent the day with him in the hospital...just he and I. He was in need of some love and care. So I saw to it that he got a good bath, a good meal and we watched 2 Pirates of the Caribbean together. Although not his usual self, we talked and enjoyed one another. The very next day all was different. He could no longer feed himself, he was disoriented and his speech was slurred. It was then that the doctors informed us that there was nothing else that they could do for him. So my mom checked him out of the hospital, set up hospice at her house for him, and by Tuesday evening he was at our house. Family began to swarm him and each hour grew worse as he was becoming more un-responsive. My mom called Wednesday night and said I should come over quick b/c he was actually awake. By the time I got there he had already fallen back asleep. I was heart broken. I prayed God would give me one last moment with him and lo and behold he woke, for one last time. I told him I was there and that I loved him. He said, "Corrie." Praise You, Jesus! Then he asked for water. After that my cousin said, Papa, Jesus is with you. To which he said, "I know." That was the last words he would say. He reached over and grabbed my mom's hand and then fell asleep. He slept until yesterday at 5. The hospice nurse informed us he would be going soon. At 5pm yesterday, my grandpa drew his last breath here and stepped into eternity! As heartbroken as we all were, I rejoice that he is pain free and now in Heaven with the Father! You see, my grandpa had a rough life and the effects of it had lingered for some time. But like I said, in death, there is always life.

For most of his life, my grandpa was raised in an orphanage during the Great Depression. About a week ago he had shared with me how when he was dropped off there at the age of 3, he laid in bed that night, crying himself to sleep. He then said that he felt Jesus pick him up and have him look down upon the bed he was sleeping on. He said he could see Jesus holding him and he knew he wasn't alone. How beautiful! I told him before he died that now, 80 years later, Jesus was still holding him and ready to take him home. It was sweet. The death of his lost family and childhood brought him life with Jesus. And now in his physical death, he is sharing life still with Jesus. Hallelujah!

You know, I have watched the dis-unity and also unity during the sickness of my grandpa. The death of a family member usually does that to a family. It's so bittersweet. But even in the deaths of dis-unity, God has brought some life through unity. I hope that makes sense. This concept is a constant flow in the lives of God's children.

Romans 6:3&4 states, "Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."

My grandpa is now living a new life. And I, while on this earth, am learning to live a new life through death. It's a hard but beautiful thing. I want to really live so I'm all for it. I hope you are too!

In closing, I would like to thank my grandpa for the legacy that he did leave. Papa, I thank you for overcoming, and for teaching me and others: how to overcome, fight, manage money well, be creative, embrace all, be kind & be healthy. I took your devotional, that you faithfully read for years, everyday, last night and it was so sweet to see all that God was teaching you. I will learn as well. I love you, Papa. See you soon. You are missed!

In death, there is life! But you must die to find it! It's worth it.


Aimee said...

beautiful tribute.

parks said...

i never met him, but through your words, i fell in love with him. thank you for sharing your papa with us.
see you when you get home.
love you.