Thursday, July 03, 2014

Ready To Go

A month and two days ago I sat in the back bedroom of my grandparents' home in the little town of Weinert, TX with an amazing man. We sat on the little love seat that pulls out into a bed that I've slept on a lot of nights. We sat there together and I cried and he held me, because I had to say goodbye. Not too long ago we learned that my Granddaddy, Alton, had cancer and a large tumor growing in his body and while I was prepared to say goodbye to my family and move to Germany I was not nearly as ready to say goodbye forever. At least an earthly forever, but that's what I had to do. 

In some ways I'm very grateful for the opportunity and that I knew that this was a goodbye til heaven kinda goodbye. But what do you say to a man that has led your family with faithful footsteps for so many years. I had no clue, I was afraid and awkward. We mostly just sat there, but there are things that he said in that conversation that I will add to my forever memories of our family's patriarch. I'll add them to the memories of the time he put my dressy church socks on wrong and we got angry with each other because we both were so determined to be right, of watching him come in so dirty from working hard in the fields all day long, of sitting in his lap after dinner eating ice cream and watching the weather on the news, of listening to his all in laughter watching shows like Home Alone and The Three Stooges and Dennis the Menace, of all the times I heard him sign praises to the Lord and all the hymns I know because of him, of signing He's Still Working On Me together... 

Some things he said that day will always be just ours, but one story he told me stuck in my head and heart and two days ago when my daddy called to tell me that he was gone, it's what I heard replaying in my head. He told me a story about an overseas mission trip to Korea that he and my Grandmother had taken and how he hadn't wanted to go. He said he remembered sitting in the back bedroom making excuses to God and somehow he got to a point while he was praying that he knew what God needed him to do and he told God, "I'm ready to go." He had to surrender and God gave him the peace that he needed. He was terrified as he went into the kitchen and had to tell my grandmother his decision. She had to get ready too. He looked at me sitting there and said again, "I just had to tell Him. 'I'm ready to go.' So I did... I'm ready to go." All I could do was hug him and say, "I'm ready to let you go." And cry of course. 

After talking to my Daddy and wishing I was there to hug him on July 1, I took a shower and cried and then words starting flowing out of me. I had to write them down because it was the only way for me not to explode with emotions. I love my Granddaddy. I love how he loved his God and how he loved my Grandmother with all of his being! I know he is where he wanted to be. He's with his Millie, who he missed so much, and they are singing songs together to their Jesus! 

Today my family is gathered at my Granddaddy's funeral and I'd be lying if I didn't say my heart feels about torn in two. I want to hug my daddy tonight. I kinda feel guilty for having a normal day. Because there is nothing normal about what my family is doing today. This is what God gave me to share with my family since I can't be there to hug them tight. 

That Simple Grin 

Just a simple glance
That was all it took
As he ran his fingers through his wavy hair
When she looked back at him
And grinned that simple grin
He knew it’d be a look they’d always share

If he’d seen the days ahead
His mind would surely burst
But the heart can hold much more than we forsee
And he said

I’m ready to go
I’m in all the way
I’ll follow you forever and day
I’m ready to fly
Let the journey begin
If you will always promise me one little thing… that simple grin

The laughs they would share
The lives they would make
And finding God together on the way
The paths they would take
The sacrifices made
Sometimes called in unexpected ways

Though at times his fears set in
Their God had said to go
The lives they’d touch would prove God worthy   
So he said

I’m ready to go
Are you in all the way?
I’ll follow Him forever and day
Let’s get ready to fly
Let the journey begin
And when stepping out in Faith he saw again…that simple grin

Two years ago she left
And the days have gotten long
And he’s missed her grin more every single day
He held to his faith
And family that they’d made
Always dreaming of her precious face

Days of sickness made him tired
He knew that it was time
And He closed his eyes and prayed a simple prayer
And he said

I’m ready to go
I’m in all the way
I want to sing with Him forever and day
I’m ready to fly
Let the journey begin
He ran into the Father’s open arms, then saw again… that simple grin

Get ready to go
Are you in all the way?
Will you follow Him forever and day?
Are you ready to fly?
Let His journey begin
And when stepping out in Faith I pray you find your simple grin