We called them our second grandparents. Always ready with open arms to hug us, gum or candy to sneak to us, and smiles that welcomed any stranger, Cal & Lil exemplified the love of Christ. There are so many memories… the sound of Cal’s change jingling in his pocket, Lil’s laugh whenever he teased her, the taste of any of Lil’s cooking, and the sight of Cal patting his belly “complaining” that Lil was feeding him too much. There was Cal’s voice ringing loudly in prayer, and Lil’s sweet agreements to the hymns we sang. There was the constant encouragement that “God is with you.” They were special in so many ways. Holding hands at eighty is a rarity. And Cal and Lil were rare.
Four years ago, Cal went to be with His Jesus, and Lillian was never the same. The spark was gone. But Wednesday night, Lil joined her husband in the home where they had both longed to be for years. When Mom told me she had died, my breath left me for a moment. The grief overcame. Because of my cancer I hadn’t seen Lil in over a year, but she always asked Mom how I was, reminding her that she was praying for me. I longed for those open arms. To hug her again. To sit in her home and laugh and watch Cal tell stories. I ached in a way that was raw and real. But at the same time I rejoiced, because I knew she would never suffer again.
God is good, isn’t He?
The grief is great. The hope is so much greater.
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