thankful: seventeen

anyone who knows me well knows that my Papa (my maternal grandfather) is one of the most precious people in the entire world to me. much of my childhood was spent curled up beside him in an armchair, nestled in his arms. he was a safe haven. he was love. he was comforting.

in January 2010, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. the doctors gave him two months to live. fifteen months later, he is still here. the cancer has spread, and his health is deteriorating quickly. yet he is still alive. and, as he has said many times, it’s a miracle.

on Wednesday, he will be moved to hospice. he is in the final stages; we all know that. the end is coming. i know that God has given me these fifteen months so that i could prepare for the loss that is coming. it’s a miracle. it’s a gift.

so today, i spent some time reminiscing about my Papa and the life he’s lived. not in a sad, i’m-so-depressed kind of way. in a thankful way. from a place of peace. i looked at old photos of him and was thrilled to see that i have inherited his smile. i let myself go back to those memories of sitting beside him in the armchair, let myself breathe in his smell, see the blue of his eyes, hear his voice.

today i am thankful for my Papa. i am thankful for this incredible man who has shown me love, love, love, all the days of my life. i am thankful that he has lived a good life, that he has passed on a legacy to other generations. as i prayed for my Papa, i got this picture of him when he gets to heaven, running beside Jesus on verdant hills of the greenest green—laughing and strong and free. i then prayed for confirmation, for assurance that Papa’s resting place truly will be with Him (God isn’t something that my Papa and i regularly discuss, i’m sad to say). but then i heard God say, “1 Chronicles 17”.

I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him… (verse 13)

so again, i am thankful. i am thankful that i know, whenever the time comes for my Papa to go home, he will be with his Father forever, living everlasting in Love.


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