Grandpa is sick.
Grandpa is never sick... Grandpa is the man who breaks his toe in the middle of fixing a tractor and doesn't realize it until he gets home and tries to take his boot off (it had to be cut off) (he was mad about the waste of a good boot). Grandpa is strong and steady and quiet.
Today, I held back tears as I watched two men move him from his car to his house. He couldn't move on his own. I had a few minutes alone with him today and I tried to joke, tried to hear anything jovial come out of his mouth... he usually holds his words in until he has something really worth saying, and it's usually a witty crack. I ached to hear the words that came.
"I'm not worth anything."
Grandpa and I have a special bond. This quiet man is perfectly matched to my talkative nature. We understand good music, good comedy and have spent several evenings together watching The Lawrence Welk Show. My mother confessed she saw him shed a few tears when I was hauled off by an ambulance to birth a baby. As of late, he's been teaching me weekly organ lessons.
And now, Grandpa is sick.
As I drove home, my daughter spoke from the back seat.
"Mom, I'm feeling sad."
"Because I think great grandpa might die," she began crying.
"Why?" I swallowed hard, trying to feign strength.
"His body isn't working like it should."
We pulled into our driveway, and I scooped her up. She sobbed and sobbed and then said something very profound for a six year old.
"It's so hard to let people go."
At that moment, I stopped feigning any kind of anything, and I cried too. I've always been sentimental. I used to fight it because I equated sentimentality with weakness, but having children sort of breaks down any barrier you might try to put up on the "stop crying so much" end.
I cried because it IS hard to let Grandpa go. And I cried because it's hard to let my husband go. And I cried because it's hard to let ME go.
Surrender was never an easy pill for any soldier to swallow.
Addiction or not, my life is unmanageable unto me. It always has been. I've spent my entire life trying to manage, and now I realize... it's not my life to manage.
I did not create me or give me gifts. I didn't provide children or shelter or money.
This life is mine only because it was given to me by a loving Father. But ultimately? I am His. For my life to be whole and complete, I must surrender my pride, my rebellion, my doubts, my fears, my lusts, my every mortal inclination to Him.
Ultimately. It's my WILL I have to offer. It's the ONLY thing I have to give to my Father, and like a toddler with a yet-undeveloped brain, I hold onto it like it is the be-all-end-all.
This life is the most educational battle I will ever fight: the only battle I'll ever fight with the sole purpose of surrendering.
And people are hard to let go.