Monday, April 21, 2008

the circle of life.

its an odd feeling, really. to have the Circle of Life playing in my head. and elton john's voice that hasn't left my side today.

odd because i feel like this really is the Circle of Life. new births. new experiences. marriage. love. and...death. and i feel that up until this point, my life has been full of "normal" growing up experiences. but that my grandparents have almost all passed away..i'm realizing that this whole growing up thing is coming to an end. and the time is fast-approaching where i am going to have to be the grown-up. weird.

my grandpa died tonight. after a long battle with Alzheimers. and colon dysmotility. he passed peacefully. surrounded by family. full of medication to dull the pain. and even though i kind of wish i had a medication to dull the little bit of pain i'm feeling tonight too, i realize that it is a good pain. a good pain because this means that life is moving on. that i am growing up. and that God's Earth keeps on spinning. a good pain because another death serves as a reminder that this is life. that i am alive, breathing, living...and that my days are full of opportunity.

too often i take them for granted--my days, i mean. too often i sleep them away. or let negativity take over my soul. and too often i forget the command that God has given us as our single, solitary, sole purpose here on Earth. and too often i fail to recognize that my life does have purpose, and is written by the Master Planner Himself. my days are numbered. my life, here on Earth, won't last forever.

so it is a good pain i'm feeling tonight. at the loss of my grandpa. at the birth of a new soul into heaven--and most of all, at the reunion of love between him & his fabulous wife of what would have been 50-something years. and you know, that says a lot. a lot about him. a lot about his character. and it especially says a lot about the Love that God has given us to experience here on Earth.
i'm inspired by it. enthralled with it. and hoping that jon & i will carry on the tradition left by my grandparents...and his grandparents. the tradition of love. that knows no end. that sees no other option but to continue. and love, that draws inspiration from the ultimate Lover.

and i can only hope that when the time comes to say goodbye to yet another generation (i guess that would be the time when i am considered "old" & all grown up), that i, too, will be able to make a selfless decision to let God's timing take control. without medical intervention of uneeded preservation. without pharmacological concoctions to dull pain & activate respiration & suppress the body's natural response to death. i can only hope that i'll be as strong as my parents. and love & care about them enough to just let them go.

but in the meantime, i'm going to enjoy life. i'm going to enjoy my experiences, my days, and my opportunities. and most of all, i'm going to enjoy the love & grace & purpose that God has poured into my life. because it is times that these...of grief, and mourning and celebration of life...times like these that make me grateful for breath.

thanks for the inspiration, Grandpa. thanks for the lessons of love. the summers spent on your sailboat learning how to steer & how to read the wind. thanks for the trips to Orcas Island. and the bike rides you enjoyed so much. for the summers i spent day dreaming in the pool & under the willow tree on the tree swing Uncle Todd built. thanks for the optimism you continued to show, despite your failing memory & challenges of health. and most of all, thanks for the legacy you left. for the family values you sewed. and for the faith whose seeds were found in your every-Sunday-church-going.

we certainly won't forget you.
oh...and say hello to Grandma. i miss her too.


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Slices of Life said...

hey j'. i'm sorry to hear about your grandpa, but delighted to know he is celebrating with the King today! your perspective is just how He would want it, i'm sure. :)

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