It's been over two years. More than I ever thought could happen, honestly.
I've lost two grandpas and a grandma. The one who practically raised me passed last March. It's amazing that given my line of work how much death I've been witness to, and yet, you never can prepare yourself. My papaw had been on a downward descent for a good seven years. In December of 2012, I thought for sure I was going to lose him. His pacemaker had failed, and he either needed a new one, or we needed to watch him die. In one of his more lucid moments, he told my mamaw he wanted to walk her down the aisle one last time for their 70th wedding anniversary the following July. After the surgery, he was more clear headed and more himself than he had been in years. It gave me hope. I told myself, a gentle and loving God will grant him this...he's done so much for everybody, worked 80-plus hours a week, farmed, took care of two of his grandkids like they were his own...
There is nothing like thinking you are an adult and are intelligent enough to understand the will of God. He struggled at home, with my mamaw, myself and my mother turning him, feeding him, medicating him, and washing him until God called him home. Every time I think of him now, I see him in that hospice bed in the new house we moved them into, the one were they would enjoy the rest of their lives with us close by. He never seen the gardens in full bloom.
I understand, or at least I have an understanding, that whatever my ideas on what the will of God should be, they are useless. Even as I was a paulbearer at his funeral on a frigid March day, I think I understood that I will never be the same as I was before.
To say that it wasn't his time would be a lie. He was 89 years old, had progressing dementia and a weakening heart. He hadn't been able to walk on his own in at least two or three years. I guess, deep down, my Nazarene and Baptist upbringing made me think that my papaw...who had delivered me from so many awful things in this world, who taught me that God loves us, and who I saw at 5 years old lay his hands on a young man and pray for his soul's deliverance, would have left this world in some relative peace.
Death is not peaceful. We fight death, we wage war against disease, and we struggle. His death was not peaceful. My heart is not peaceful.