The Art of Leaving

You’ve grown up being left behind. Everyone has because everyone leaves. Everyone leaves in one way or another, and they stay in small ways because of the marks that they make in your life.
They die, but they’ve left memories.
They break your heart, but they don’t take your feelings with them when they go.
They tell you they love you, and the words travel on the wind.
Then one day you realize: that’s you. You’ll be leaving soon and staying in some way, and it breaks your heart. You know how that feels, but to be the one to finally do it seems exciting. You mourn and rejoice at the same time. You realize it’s easier than you ever would have thought.

How Quickly Things Can Change

Nine days ago my grandfather died, the only grandfather I’ve ever known. (My dad’s dad died from a brain tumor when I was two years old.) I’ve spent the last nine days adjusting to this new life that the Lord has given me, and let me tell you, it’s not easy, and I don’t like it. Not one bit.

My sister told me three days ago, “We were just his granddaughters. Imagine what mom and granny feel.”

This was the man that picked me up from pre-school along with my grandmother everyday and took me out to lunch, letting me play in the Burger King playground while my grandmother was getting the food. This was the man that taught me that we can survive the present, and that means it will be the past one day. This was the man that fought in World War II, came home, and started working on the railroad again, where he continued for forty-four years. This was the man that lived for God and wanted nothing other than his family to do the same.

This was the boy that was abused by his parents. This was the boy that lived through The Great Depression. This is the boy that had a seventh grade education, yet was the smartest man I’ve ever met.

This was the grandfather that said things like, “Go to school and learn everything you can,” every time he saw me. This was the grandfather that slowly lost his appetite, his strength, and weight that he needed. This is the man that said he wouldn’t plant but a few crops in the garden this year and had more than ever. This was the man that had the best birthday ever on January 18, 2016, his ninety-fourth. This was that man.

“It’s funny how quickly we go from saying “is” to “was,”” my mom said the night of the funeral.

I miss him. Oh, do I miss him. My heart hurts every minute of every day because I realize that it’s more real today than it was yesterday. Sometimes I still forget to breathe. Sometimes I hear the screaming of my mom, my aunt, my grandmother. I’m living in those little moments of sorrow and the memories that make me smile.

I know where he’s at; I know he’s in Heaven. (If that conflicts with your own personal beliefs, I’m not sorry because they’re mine.) However, that doesn’t make it easier, I’m finding out. Every day is a struggle and some are better than others, but I’m sure of one thing: Eventually everything will be okay again. Not today, not tomorrow, but eventually.

And that’s how it’s supposed to be.

“6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”
2 Timothy 4:6-7 KJV