We are heading out this morning to join my family in remembering my Grandpa. He took his final breaths here this past Sunday and is now pain free and complete in the presence of Jesus.
I wrote at the beginning of March about our visit with him after they began hospice care. It was a very sweet day with our family. But I came home the next day to the realization that that was probably the last time I would see him. And that hit me hard.
I was telling some friends this week that going through the season of Lent with my grandpa being on hospice was really hard, because a lot of the songs we sang at church in that season talked about dying and what waits for us after. And while it was a good reminder that what has been waiting for my grandfather is glory and redemption and peace, it was still a weekly reminder that he was dying. And I was lacking some peace as we faced that. It was hard for me to get through a Sunday service without crying in the face of that.
This past Sunday we were supposed to be out of town, but due me breaking my foot we ended up home and at The Gathering with our friends. And God knew it was exactly where I needed to be that morning. Our friend Jon lead us in a morning of worship. We prayed and we sang and we gathered together. And one of the songs we sang as part of the Adoration was "All Creatures of our God and King" and though we usually only sing a few verses, Jon included them all. And as we sang this verse about Death coming to lead the child of God home, I was filled with peace instead of fear for the first time in the last month. And when I found out that my grandfather has passed away Sunday afternoon, I knew the Lord was preparing my heart as we sang to Him that morning, and I'm grateful for the reminder of His truth and His love in the midst of a really hard week.
And thou most kind and gentle Death,
Waiting to hush our latest breath,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
And Christ our Lord the way hath trod.
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
So as I gather with my family today I am filled with sadness, but I am grateful that in the midst of sadness there is a lot of hope. And as we celebrate his life, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite pictures of him. For his 80th birthday, my Aunts asked me to make a scrapbook of his family pictures, so I'm grateful I have a lot of these from that time.
My cousins and I found this picture after my grandmother passed away 10 years ago. I love how in love they are and always were.
With my dad, his first child.
3 generations of Reed men. My grandfather always wanted to make sure the Reed family name was passed on, so he was very excited when my brother and sister-in-law had their son Chase and he got to meet him
This is probably one of the last pictures of all 7 of their family members before my dad passed away 15 years ago. He loved his wife and his kids and grandkids fiercely.
And I will forever be grateful that he was able to come to our wedding.
I will miss this sweet man so dearly. But I am grateful for the years I had him in my life. Grateful that he and my grandma were always involved in our lives and that we got to spent so many holidays with them. Grateful that by watching his dad I was able to get glimpses of who my dad was and would have been. They had the same goofy sense of humor and the same love for family.