(I wrote this in 2011 and posted it on Facebook.)
*Note: Sorry if I’m all over the place, but it’s finals week and you know how that goes*
About a year ago, a man, who I’d never seen before, came up to me after my PaPa’s funeral. I’d spoken at the service so people were coming up to me left and right telling me that I’d done a good job and was such strong person. All of those faces and the words they said all blurred together. All of them, except this one man. He came up to me and told me that he could tell how close I was to my granddad and that he had been very close to his too. Then he said something that will probably stick with me forever, “My granddad died in 1976 and there has never been a day that I haven’t thought about him. Just know that you’ll never go a day without thinking about him because the love you have for him will never let you forget him. It’s not always going to be painful and sad, but trust me you’re going to think about him every day for the rest of your life.”
Something about his words jolted me back into the reality that my tears and sadness had been keeping me from. Even after he walked away, I kept replaying the words he’d just said over and over in my mind. They were so comforting yet they scared me. Comforting, in the sense that his words reassured me that I wasn’t alone in my pain-everyone that loses someone feels this way. But every day is what scared me. I just couldn’t fathom the idea of someone no longer in your life sliding into you consciousness every single day. I thought to myself “I mean I’m bound to get a break. I’m sure I’ll go a couple of days or weeks and not think of him because after all life moves on.”
But then I quickly changed my mind because he spoke with a sense of confidence that only a person who knew an eternal truth could speak. You know, like the sky is blue, the sun rises and sets without fail, and now I could add never going a day with out thinking about my PaPa to that list. I almost didn’t want to believe him, but something in me told me that he was right.
And now as I stand here a little over a year later, I know he was right. There has yet to be a day when I haven’t thought about the man that raised me. Sometimes the thoughts of him leave me with a smile on my face or pure joy in my heart, but more times then I’d like to admit, it leaves me with a tear-stained face and deep sorrow in my heart. Now life does move on. I’ve had more than my fair share of problems since then-family issues, my house burning down, a tornado hitting my hometown, and dealing with the usual heartbreaks and disappointments that come with friendships and relationships. The funny thing is that all those things still pale in comparison to losing him. None of those things has changed my life more than losing him. Nothing. I’ve noticed that I want to practice law one day because of losing him. I’ve noticed that I cling tighter, and sometimes too tight, to the ones I care about because of losing him. I’ve noticed that I’ve learned to love others, even my enemies, with more fervor because of losing him. I’ve noticed that I’ve grown to have a deeper relationship with God because of losing him.
So I guess I said all of that to say this, one thing can change everything and make a new rule for your reality. One thing can change for you and transform you for the rest of your life. Just as the sky is blue and the sun rises and sets without fail, you can lose someone you love and never go a day without thinking about them. It’s simply another eternal truth of your reality. You can choose to wallow in that and wish that things could return to the way that they once were, or you can accept your new reality and build your life within it. As you can guess, I choose to go with the latter, and I’ve found a peculiar beauty in that choice. Even when the worst possible thing occurs and changes your reality, there’s still a quiet hope that awaits you. There’s still the little reminders from God that let you know that His love, peace, and blessings are the ultimate eternal truth and exist no matter what reality you find yourself facing. Yes,there will be tears and there will be changes, but God’s eternal truth of His endless love will always bring you through. Yes the sky is blue, the sun rises and sets without fail, and you never go a day without thinking about losing someone you love. But you can add God’s comforting and endless love to that list of eternal truths too.