“I’ll Just Follow”

Not long before Pappy had to move into a nursing home, he told me this: “You know,” he smiled, “The good Lord has never let me down. I sit out there,” he pointed to the living room, “every morning and we meet together. I read and pray and He’s always there. He hasn’t let me down yet.” I looked at his leg braces and his hearing aid and his wrinkled skin. I looked at his lifeless hand and his crooked smile. I looked at his cane and his wheel chair.

“I don’t want to leave here,” he said again, “But if the good Lord leads me elsewhere, I’ll go. I go where he takes me. And one day He’ll take me home. Until then, I’ll just follow.”

Sitting at his feet,I cried, wetting his knee with my tears, but I don’t think he knew. I cried for all that he had endured in this life, for all he had lost–the wiffle ball games he could no longer play, the snowmen he could no longer build, the foods he could no longer enjoy, the beach trips he could no longer travel. And I cried for his love and his faith and his strength, and my grateful heart overflowed that I have a grandfather who is so beautiful and wise and strong.

Adding to our grief with my grandmother beginning hospice is the news we received today that Pappy is failing. He cannot eat or drink; he needs a breathing mask; he can’t stay hydrated; they think he is finally giving up. He asked for Nanny and they brought her to him. She sat with him and held his hand. They were together, and I know that lifted his heart.

It looks as though they will meet Jesus together (or close), and it calms my aching heart to think of how each will be spared the grief of life without their friend of 85 years and how they’ll get to enjoy eternity together with Jesus.

He has fought for so long. He has lost so much in life.

But he has never lost his faith. Or his love.

I want to be like my Pappy, too, when I grow old. I want a legacy of faith. I want to remember and smile. And I want to be real about life. And I want to be ready to go wherever God takes me.

I want to just follow.

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2 responses to ““I’ll Just Follow””

  1. Thankful for them, but weeping with you (and in pulls a customer…fantastic). And…let me let you in on a little secret, my dear friend…you are already like your pappy.

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    1. Oh, Angie. Sigh. Just deep, deep sighs and tears. And how amazing if he gets to go ahead to meet her and be there for her and how painful. What a bittersweet testimony. Praying for your heart and the hearts of your family where love and feelings run so, so deep. This hurts.

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