Sometimes life catches us off guard. Events occur that make us stop and think. Last week I sat and talked with my great grandfather. He wasn’t feeling well so I popped into the nursing home to say hello and see how he was doing. Little did I know that would be our last conversation. I am so grateful I went to see him that day because the next and last time I saw him he was far from himself. The other day as my brother described the changes that occurred in the final hours of his life it made me think about life and death.
Death scares me. It makes me wonder if today will be my last and I find myself reconsidering my choices. Today I had to stop and realize that I need to reconsider my thoughts about death. My great grandfather lived to be 96 years old and many of those years he dedicated to living for Jesus. He quietly taught us through himself, our grandparents, and parents to love Jesus and live our lives for Him. So why should I fear death? At the end of the day it is a true reality that everyone dies. I need to stop fearing and start living.
If I live in fear there is no way I will live to be 96. In all his years Puppie truly blessed our family with his hard work, dedication to Jesus, and his love of fishing. We all benefited from the fish when he brought it back to the cottage and Nannie fried it up. He was a quiet man who touched many lives, including mine.
In the last six months I had spent more quality time with him then I have in my entire life. Since moving closer we made it a point to visit him often, bringing Graysen along with us. His face lit up when we came in and he started clicking his tongue at him almost instantly. We’d chat about the weather, what he ate, how he was feeling (and no matter what, the problem was old age), other small talk, and whatever Graysen’s most recent milestone was! The thing I remember most is that from the first time he met Graysen he would look at him and say “I wish I had his energy”. How blessed we were to have a great-great grandfather around for the first year of his life. There are lots of pictures and I cannot wait to tell Graysen as he grows up just how much Puppie loved to see him come.
Today as we gathered to celebrate his life and his love and assurance in Jesus Christ I realized our Sunday afternoons will have to be filled with something new as we often went to visit after church and lunch. We crowded around his room and interrupted his attempt to sleep, we chatted with him and we celebrated his birthday where he even wore a birthday hat! Even though the last 6 months he didn’t know who I was most of the time we created some of my favourite memories, aside from always remembering him calling me “badness” as a kid.
He is safely home in Heaven with Nannie, who I am sure has already scolded him for being late! So I must remember his life the way he lived it and learn to live mine the same, because even at 96 we never knew when his last day would be.
Rest In Peace Puppie Shepherd ❤