My granddaddy died yesterday. He was 91. His life was full and long and in the end, he met his LORD peacefully. I spent much of yesterday so stressed and anxious and worried... Emotions rolling through me like massive waves, trying to keep it all together, trying to determine how I could get down to south Texas with my 4 young kids for the funeral. In the end, it was decided that it wouldn't be realistic to make the trip. Emotionally, yes, I want to be with my family during this time, yet reality was, it was going to be insane. My Great Aunt even assured me that Grandaddy would be "yelling at you from Heaven" if I attempted the drive solo. Still, I was conflicted. I felt responsibility to be there, to hug my Nanny, to reflect on his life.
Desperately, I grabbed my shoes and went for a run. At least maybe the pounding of my footsteps would help me forget the pounding in my head.
I met with two Sole Sisters, and through our 3 mile journey, they helped me find the peace my soul desired. I silently review sweet memories I had of him as I was a child and more recent memories of him with my children. Eating watermelon, riding in the back of his truck to the lake and later, when he was much too frail to walk far, riding on his Gator to the mailbox at their lake house.
Today, during my run, the words of the Apostle Paul continuously came to the front of my mind, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (Hebrews 12:1)
Grandaddy ran his race for 91 glorious years. I believe in the last few weeks he spotted his finish line. He made his peace, he was ready to for his running days to be over and he triumphantly crossed that line with crowds cheering him on both sides. We celebrate his perseverance, his life on this side, and Heaven welcomed him with open arms on the other.
Running yesterday and today helped me reflect on his life, what he meant to me and my children and find peace in being unable to tell him good-bye at this time. I am looking forward to a quiet moment when I can take my children to his grave and whisper our memories to the breeze, cast our love out to those living with his memory and reflect on his impact in our lives and the lives of all who knew him.