An unexpected trip home.

When I left Texas a little over two years ago, I knew that I probably wouldn’t see my granddaddy again. As my summer workload cranked up, his health began to decline rapidly. Perhaps it was best that I was too busy to dwell much on the reality of the situation. 

A few weeks ago on a Tuesday morning in staff meeting, I finally shared what was going on, with tears flowing. I had this feeling that things were imminent and wanted my fellow staff members to know that my attendance at his service was top priority, even if I had to cancel or miss any church activities I had scheduled. That very evening he passed.

I kicked into gear and made flight and car arrangements. Fort Worth friends offered their guest bedroom so we could save on hotel costs. I canceled an event and delegated out two more. Our usual dogsitter was in town and willing to stay with our three. Jason – amazingly – was able to call his boss and arrange time off to go with me.

24 hours later, we were bound for home.

Anytime you’re reunited with family and friends, you’re going to share smiles and laughs even amidst the unfortunate circumstances. My niece, Zoe, was definitely a highlight. She was 2 when I saw her last and now she was a gorgeous, delightful, and brilliant 4 year old. Though I’m definitely not bias. She and Jason became best buddies within minutes. I’m hoping her mom and dad will ship her this way someday so we can spoil her rotten.

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We visited the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens and took some family pics while we were all together. I just wish we hadn’t chosen a spot with shadows across our faces 🙂

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My brother had met a truly wonderful woman that we all got to meet. I hope he doesn’t run her off anytime soon – she’s definitely the best he’s brought home!

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My Broadway friends hosted an impromptu ice cream social and invited many of “my” families from my 7 years at Broadway. My preschoolers didn’t remember me at all but what a joy to see them growing up and entering school! My older kids – who were preschoolers when I met them – were now youth! It was so lovely to end a sad weekend by catching up with some of my favorite families.

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And we ate – of course! Taco Bueno, Whataburger, Spring Creek, Gloria’s, and Yucatan Taco Stand were all on the hit list. 

Granddaddy’s visitation and service was a fitting tribute to a wonderful man. I got to hug the neck of many relatives, hear stories from his days as a softball player, and meet people whose lives were enriched by his presence on this earth. A life well lived!

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God who creates and recreates us

God who laughs with us and weeps with us

God who walks with us each step of the journey, carrying us when our strength fails

We gather today with hearts brimming with grief, and sadness, but also thanksgiving for the life of our grandfather.

We loved him so deeply, yet know that you love him even more. You formed him, you knew him, you walked beside him, and now we have the confidence that he is in your presence. 

What a blessing it was to have him in our lives for so many years.

His life was a shining example of the kind of people you call us to be: Hardworking. Honest. Soft spoken. Gentle. Patient. Committed to family. Slow to anger.

While we are starting a new chapter in life without him here alongside us, help us to not forget the Godly traits he demonstrated before us. Remind us that we are divinely connected to one another in mourning and pain, just as we are connected in abundant life.

We give thanks that you are a God of mercy who promises comfort in times of grief and sadness. And so in those moments now and in the days to come, please bring comfort and peace to each of us.

In the name of the only one who can bring true healing and everlasting life, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.

{the prayer I led on behalf of his grandchildren}

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One thought on “An unexpected trip home.

  1. Carol Connor says:

    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful prayer. He was good from the time he was a young boy and he was truly loved by my dad, his cousin. I take comfort in the knowledge they are together surrounded by love and the presence of God.

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