Two days ago we received a call that Travis’ grandfather, wasn’t doing well and was back in the hospital. I called Travis and he was uncertain about if we should go to the hospital or not. They have never been close (I had only met him twice – once was at our wedding) but I still felt strongly our presence was important for his parents. I wanted to bring Brooklyn as a reminder of what is important, and a stress relief for his dad, and really felt in my gut we should go.
Travis was already downtown so he beat me to the hospital. By the time we arrived, his grandfather was breathing his final breath. His daughter had begged him to receive Jesus as his savior, but his ability to speak was gone. We won’t know what his decision was until we are with our maker.
It broke my heart to hear his grandmother grasping for a few more minutes with him. Wondering who would turn on the sprinklers and who would grocery shop. They had a love that was misunderstood by some, but strong. They had been together since she was 14 years old, without ever taking a break. If that were commonplace, the world would be quite different.
Since his passing, we have all replaced fragile emotion with being busy. Busy finding black outfits and a new suit for Travis. Busy figuring out if food will need to be provided. Busy organizing and planning. Just busy. This morning it struck me that while this man was alive, everyone was busy. Busy being upset over the past. Busy avoiding issues that appeared to be at an impasse. Busy establishing separate lives. Now in his death, we are doing more of the same. What does that mean?
As I stand on the outside and peer into the heart of the family, I know the business has to be done. But, I see this as an opportunity to pray for the quiet, stillness that comes when we crawl into our Fathers lap. By changing our ‘to do’ list to include less time avoiding each other and more time grabbing onto the Lord, we can honor this man who is no longer with us. We can honor the lives that have been changed for the better by his presence, and by his absence. Most of all, we can honor God.