This morning my Grandpa heard the key unlock the door to Paradise. I'll not say it's easy for those of us left on the other side of the door because that would be lying, it's still hard. I miss him.
Last summer we went out to visit Grandpa Pete and it was beautiful. I hadn't realized how much I had talked about him to my kids until I saw Katie react to being at his house. When we pulled up and got out of the van she took a deep breath and said "Finally! I'm here!". Throughout the visit she ran around the house exclaiming over the things I loved. The doorbell, the porch swing, the basement, the bridge, the gardens, and most of all Grandpa Pete.
The three of them made Grandpa cards this week and they surprised me again by drawing things they knew he loved. Katie drew him and her on the bridge with a cardinal and then taking a walk with his old teddy bear Bocacephas. Abby too, drew the legendary teddy bear. I was always afraid my children would never know their great grandparents and how wonderful they were. I wanted them to know how much they meant to me growing up especially when I was older and taken far away how they never let me be lost to them. When they showed me the cards I realized that somehow just by talking about Grandpa in everyday conversation they had learned about him and loved him.
What made him such a great grandpa so that when I was 5 I firmly believed he was Santa? It's hard to sum up, in fact it would be impossible but I'll give it a try anyway. When I went running up tot he door Grandma was there waiting with a lip stick kiss. Grandpa sang silly songs and had one for every occasion. Special toys always ready for me. A beautiful back yard filled with flowers, birds, gardens, brick pathways and fun. Old homemade movies to watch while I sat on grandpa's lap and heard about all those wonderful people. The biggest Christmas tree in the world, cookies, fudge, roller skates, dominoes, cook outs, tomatoes, bubbles...it was magic. Why? Because He loved me and he let his klutzy, bouncy, silly little granddaughter follow him everywhere and when she crawled up into his lap there was always a warm embrace waiting for her. Yeah, of all those things that was the best, sitting in his lap, knowing he loved me, falling asleep in his arms. My Grandpa.
Now he is in heaven with his Lord, his wife and all the people who went before him. When my dad called this morning church was letting out and just as he told me Grandpa was gone the bells began to play. Even as I struggled with sadness I was awed by the thought that just a few hours ago Grandpa had heard similar and even more beautiful music as the gate of heaven was thrown open for him. I miss him and will continue to miss his presence here but I know he is in Paradise and is enjoying perfection and it brings my heart comfort. As Abby said, "He is going to have so much fun, forever!". Someday, I'll see him again because I too have trusted Jesus to save me and oh what a promise that is! It gives me hope and comfort. One day when the door unlocks for me I'll be greeted by my God, my child, my Grandma, and my Grandpa and that is a very good thing.