63 Years…

Tonight I went to say goodbye to my Pawpaw who’s in the final stages of Alzheimer’s. I also went to check on my Grandmother who has been married to him since she was 14 years old. He is all she’s ever known. In 63 years of marriage, they went from poverty to building a very lucrative business, having 6 children together, which produced 16 grandchildren and a still-growing number of great grandchildren! It wasn’t a perfect marriage by anyone’s standards, but it was a lasting one. 

I was thankful to see she seems to be prepared for the inevitable. I know she and the rest of the family gathered in that tiny hospital room are too busy grieving right now to notice, but it was truly a special moment. Here this man was surrounded by his family who were each retelling various memories they had of his impact in their lives. The weight of his final time here on earth was palpable, but it was balanced by the happy memories and the joy shared with each other in the family he helped create. 

As I was leaving, I stood by my Pawpaw and Grandmother together one last time. I looked at them and said, “Sixty-three years is a long time to be with someone.” Grandmother simply paused and replied, “Yes, but it’s a short time also…”

That answer impacted me to the core. I drove home thinking about how few, nowadays, are privileged to experience that same sentiment. I told the Lord that I wanted to be a part of that select few. My grandfather had some major faults, as does my grandmother. However, they stayed together through it all to reach the point where she is faithfully beside him during his final moments. On either side, I want that to be me. I want loved ones surrounding me faithfully when I’m at my worst and I want to be the faithful party standing beside those in their worst moments…

God, in Your infinite grace make it so… 

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