Saying Goodbye

A few weeks ago, I went to Nashville for several days to spend time with my Pop, my Dad’s father, before he went into surgery for bladder cancer.  I spent the day with Pop and Nana and we just sat and talked for hours-I listened to stories about growing up on a farm in Tennessee and the mischief that he caused with his brothers.  They were dirt poor, but it sounded like the boys found plenty of ways to entertain themselves anyway.  He also talked about starting work at age 13 (I think) while going to school and talked about the different jobs he had until he retired at 70.  Can you imagine?  Nana and Pop also talked a lot about their early years of marriage, like buying their first Ford, and shared some stories I never knew about living in Florida and vacations they had taken.  It was such a neat glimpse into their lives and I was fascinated-and grateful-to hear about life during that time that is so different from today.

Unfortunately, Pop seems to be unable to recover from the surgery and is still in the hospital.  In addition to the bladder cancer, they discovered the cancer has also spread to his lungs.  He won’t be able to handle any type of treatment.

Today, my phone rang and it was my Dad.  I had a feeling it was bad news as it was the middle of the day and he should be at work.  The doctors think he only has a few days or maybe a few weeks left to live.  He wants to spend his last days at home, so the plan will be to take him home and make him comfortable.

As I’ve spent the day trying to grasp that I will soon be saying goodbye to my grandfather, I’ve had very mixed emotions.  I’m grateful that he won’t spend the next few years suffering from cancer and declining slowly.  However, I can’t imagine a world where he doesn’t exist.  Where I won’t get a hug as soon as he sees me, I won’t hear stories about working with Willie Nelson, or get a special batch of his fudge at Christmas.

I was taking a shower this afternoon and just couldn’t seem to stop the tears when my Pandora station switched to a new song and the lyrics to “I Can Only Imagine” filled the bathroom.

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By Your side

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When Your face
Is before me

I can only imagine
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for You Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees will I
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all


I think that could only be a “God moment.”  I felt such a feeling of peace for Pop as I listened to the words of the song.  Instead of spending the next months battling cancer, he will soon spend his days with Jesus.  He was extremely close with his brothers and has missed them terribly since they died.  I started thinking about their reunion in heaven and it just made me laugh.  Do you think it’s possible to cause mischief in heaven?

While I know it’s going to be hard to say good-bye and we will miss his presence in our lives, I can’t help but think about what he’s getting out of this-eternity with Jesus.  I’m beyond grateful.

I love you, Pop.

5 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye

  1. chrissi says:

    Saying goodbye to my Granddaddy two years ago was one of the hardest things I have done. I know the pain from living in a world without your grandpa and it’s not always a fun one. You can do it, and you will hold tight to the wonderful memories you have with him. Praying for you and your family! XO

    • Life's Better With Freckles says:

      Thank you so much for such a sweet comment!! You pretty much nailed how I’m feeling, but we have so many great memories with him. And with a little boy on the way it makes me want to make sure he has those memories with his grandparents. Thanks lady!

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