This past week my family and I lost a wonderful person in our lives. My "Gramp" passed on from this life to one where he will reside forever. I look forward to seeing him again someday, but for now he leaves a great void in our lives. His laughter fills my mind as I remember him and various words he once said. I can almost hear him and I smile just thinking about him. He had quite a smile and such a warm embrace! Gramp was deeply proud of his family and would do anything to protect us, including keep us from news about his own health until he felt as though we really needed to know. He did not accept pity and wasn't at all selfish. I knew his career to be "classified" and now think that is a good description for his life, as he only let a few people in deep and it was really on a need-t0-know basis. I think he only shared what might enhance someone else's life. He thought of others first and is someone we could really learn a lot from. Gramp inspired me to be educated - not just academically, but financially to be best prepared for the future, and also with my health. I was inspired at his strength for life and appreciate all he represents.
My mom called today to wish me a "Happy Birthday Gabriel" (I think birthday's are more special for mom's than for their kids. I get it now!), as we celebrate Gabe's fifth birthday and learn how to proceed with our lives despite this enormous loss of one life. It's a strange feeling, yet this truly is life. I can't comprehend what it all means - life and death - and I'm okay with that. Mom shared with me how she thinks that Gramp and I had a *connection*. Six years ago this past Spring when my Gramp was having surgery to save his life, I was losing a life inside me. Now, as we celebrate five years of my son's miraculous life, we let go of one. At both times we sacrificed one life for another. Those times were painful times and joyful times all at once.
Life at its best is a series of sacrifices that aren't easy to make, and we don't usually have control. New growth buds occur at various stages in life. Sometimes we have to cut off pieces of the branch in order for new branches to grow. Such it is with our family and our lives. Help us, God, to trust you each moment of our lives, for we do not understand and sometimes we don't want to make those sacrifices that you taught us are so very needed.