Graduation Day

That dream came true, but as bad off as he was he always pulled through. Honestly, on my drive into spend his last days by his side were rather unemotional. I had driven this same drive after similar calls, “this is it.” My heart held onto his trend of defying the odds and believed that his fighting heart would prevail. When I arrived, I realized how selfish that train of thought was. He had diminished to nothing but skin and bones. I have never seen a person so uncomfortably frail. My heart ached for him, and I pleaded for him to be taken home.  What was so precious and incredible was how he improved upon the arrival of his two granddaughters (myself and my cousin). His heart rate literally went up and he suddenly awoke from his coma like state. He started acting silly again, you could tell he was excited for the two ‘joys of his life’ being with him.  I believe that is exactly how God feels about us when we walk into his presence, his heart races. He is so excited to see us and leaps at the opportunity for time with us, precious time. Even if that is just sitting together, it makes him so happy. I will never forget those last smiles, so pure.

After several days, my cousin and I felt like our presence was actually hindering the dying process because it boosted his esteem and heart so much. Our absence did not matter, we had ignited something deep in his soul.  His fight continued whether we were there or not. His nurses could not figure out how he was still here, and what he was holding onto. I knew that it was us, his family.  My papaw loved all of us so much he simply could not let go.  That is exactly how God loves us, relentlessly.  Even when we are gone, nothing changes about how he feels or how much he is willing to fight for us. Even when he probably should give up on us, he refuses. Even when we are distant his love and affection never change.

During his very last night on earth, he and I had a conversation. He could not speak any longer, but he was still trying. I knew that he just wanted to tell me that he loved me. He so desperately wanted me to know that.  At this point, my Papaw could hardly breathe nor could he move anything but his eyebrows and mouth just slightly. Struggling to attempt to form words, he smiled as relief flooded his face and tear fell from his eye when I said, “I know that you love me.” That is the same desperation of God toward us. He wants us to know how much he loves us to the point of no longer having breath. He exhausts himself trying to tell us. All he wants to hear is, “I know that you love me” with a content heart.

I know that I am not describing the realization of God’s love for us nearly as how I experienced it. It was overwhelming to the point of bringing tears to my eyes. I have done nothing to deserve that kind of love, even from my grandfather. I hadn’t been to visit in months. The love in his eyes revealed that it did not matter. His eyes were so open, pure, and it was like Jesus was looking at me through him. I have always experienced Jesus through my Papaw, even in his last days he was showing me how much God loves me.