Then my mom called Sunday morning with the news none of us wanted to hear, that my Grandpa's health was declining fast and that he said he was ready to go to be with Jesus. As my uncle stated, he was ready to be with the one Person he loved more dearly than his wife and family.
That phone call changed the whole course of the week, my parents spent time with my Grandpa in his final days instead of coming here, and now the family is making plans for the funeral of a man who touched more lives for Christ than he ever could have known on this side of Heaven.
The rest of the week felt so awkward. Thanksgiving felt incomplete. The day after even stranger, since I'm used to always spending that day with my mom. This time I spent it with Juan David, and then we enjoyed our own family time with the boys for the rest of the day at Six Flags Holiday in the Park (so thankful we got those season passes for the boys!) We all four worked together to decorate the house for Christmas on Saturday, and I bought the boys a Gingerbread house kit after Juan David told me he'd never made one before. I also finished up all my edits for the revision of my first book, which they told me should be published in February!
David only met my Grandpa a few times in his life, and Juan David met him once. They sympathized with us in our grief, but they couldn't share that grief. I tried to make the week fun for them, though I often found myself with thoughts wandering and tears welling up in my eyes, thinking of the rest of my family and remembering my Grandpa.
Here are some pictures of memories we created, despite the change in plans and the sadness we feel.
Picnic lunch at the park
One of our many roller coaster rides for the day
Thanksgiving. Missing my mom's additions to our plates. :(
Juan David and Uncle Matt (Realizing the family this boy gained still brings tears to my eyes.)
A quick pic by the tree in the park
Juan David's first gingerbread house experience
The whole reason for the season--Jesus
My prayer corner now holds my favorite Christmas decorations, my Jesus tree and a nativity. This morning I took a good long look at my little nativity and my ornaments that say so many different names of Jesus. I looked at that little baby in the manger, the baby born to die, and I thanked Him for being each and every name on that tree. Then I realized, my grandpa finally got to meet that precious little baby in the manger, face to face, and thank Him, face to face, for being all those names to him in a personal way. I'm sad for us to lose him, but I'm so, so happy for him. What a privilege to be in the presence of Jesus.
Christmas just took on a whole new meaning for me.