Until We Meet Again…

Yesterday afternoon I said farewell to my grandfather. As I sat there listening to person after person reflecting on how wonderful a man my grandfather was, I began to ponder on my own memories with him…

The first 13 years of my life I was blessed to live across the street from him. He was always within arms reach…we would snuggle on the couch eating vanilla bean ice cream or peanuts while watching Walker, Texas Ranger. (Torture I know, but I was with my grandaddy so it was worth it.) He liked his coffee black and would drink out of this blue coffee mug. I was the youngest of the four grandchildren for quite a few years so I was grandaddy’s baby…this tiny little petite thing that loved nothing more than to be on his lap. My grandaddy was a runner and ran about five miles every single day. I could never keep up, so I would ride my bike alongside him. He was in great shape; so much so, that at 74 years of age he sailed through the Lake Tahoe Marathon.

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Finding out that I was pregnant with my son was one of the most exciting moments in my life. We told our family and close friends as soon as we found out. The last thing I said to my mom that night was, “It’s late, so I’ll call Grammy and Grandaddy in the morning to tell them.” That morning I received a phone call from my mom telling me that Grandaddy had a massive stroke and he’s in the ICU. I began weeping. How could this happen? He was so healthy! That past month we were just celebrating he and Grammy’s 75th birthday…we danced and laughed the whole night. I don’t understand! I didn’t get a chance to tell him I was pregnant. That was four years ago this past January. I haven’t been able to hear his voice, see him run, hear him quote scripture, tell a joke, or see his smile. All I’ve been able to do is stare into those captivating grey-blue eyes and hope he could hear me when I said, “Grandaddy, I love you”…”Grandaddy, I graduated college”…”Grandaddy, I had a healthy son named Javan and he’s perfect”…”Grandaddy, hubby’s graduating the Academy”…”Grandaddy, I’m having another baby”…”Grandaddy, I love you and I miss hearing your voice”…”Grandaddy, we had a miscarriage and I have to have surgery”…”Grandaddy, please tell my Grandpa, Uncle Jeff and my baby I said I love them.”

On April 20, 2013, he took his last breath here on this earth. As I stood there yesterday watching them lower him into the ground, all I could do was stand and accept it…all I kept saying in my head was, “Father, you won’t give us more than we can handle.” As we began the drive home I felt exhausted to the core. Hubby looked at me and said, “Wow, you held yourself together really well. I’m proud of you.” I thought to myself for a moment and realized that my grieving started four years ago. This was closure and a celebration that my grandaddy is sitting at the foot of Jesus hearing Him say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Welcome to your final destination.”

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The Manhunt…

In the last days I have tried to avoid what has been happening in the world.  Mainly because my mind is already at capacity with knowing the crime that happens on a daily basis; awful crimes that nobody ever hears about because it isn’t “big enough” to make the news.  Last night I was inundated with BREAKING NEWS…as I began to sit and watch, my eyes could not focus on anything but flashing lights and police everywhere with their weapons drawn.  I grabbed the remote and turned it off.  I sat still for a moment almost feeling guilty for not allowing myself to indulge in what was in front of me.  I kissed my son goodnight and said a little prayer.  Today I felt the need to know…no longer wanted to live in bliss, but desired to take a closer look at the tragedies that have been occurring.  As I dove into articles, video footage and photos my eyes filled with tears…no longer naive, but eyes wide open to this recent tragedy.  Anxiety started to creep in as my mind began to focus on the aftermath.   The aftermath of a tragedy are the moments that most people do not reflect on…but those are the moments that my mind refuses to shake.  The tragedy in itself creates enough emotional exhaustion that when it’s over we tend to force ourselves back into normalcy.  For the men and women in blue, this has turned into a manhunt.  A fearful moment for all of us that have loved ones in law enforcement.  Yes, they are trained to do this, but that doesn’t make them bulletproof.  More lives can be lost, more damage can be done…I hope and pray it’s him and not one of ours.

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My heart and prayers go out to the family of Officer Sean Collier.

“Lord I ask for courage, Courage to face and conquer my own fears…Courage to take me where others will not go…I ask for strength, Strength of body to protect others and strength of spirit to lead others…I ask for dedication, Dedication to my job, to do it well.  Dedication to my community, to keep it safe…Give me Lord, concern for others who trust me and compassion for those who need me…And please Lord…Through it all…Be by my side.”