When, in May of 2009, it appeared that Poppop would not be able to attend my wedding due to failing health, I prayed that God would extend his life so that I could see him seeing me married. God did, and it meant the world to me. My favorite picture from my wedding is a sepia of the two of us: his beautifully radiant face as he gives me a painful, love-filled hug. It was obvious to me that he was in pain that day, but he came and celebrated with me anyway.
Despite doctors telling us last April that he had "a few days to perhaps a week or two to live," he is still alive today. This just proves that God directs the ways and paths of men. Anyway, that gloomy news last year set of another stream of prayers--that God would let me tell my grandfather that I was pregnant. After an agonizing six months of trying to conceive while dealing with unpleasant health issues of my own, Patrick and I were finally able to drive up to New Jersey with our happy news. The tears of joy in my grandfather's eyes were like precious jewels that I will cherish forever.
Now, once again, the outlook is bleak. Platelet levels are way down, the new treatment isn't working, and the impending surgery (coming next week) does not look very promising. I had been taking for granted the fact that he was doing so well for so long, and now I am faced with the very real possibility that Poppop may never hold little Natalie. Once more I find myself pleading with God for just a few more months.
Whether or not it is in God's will to bring about another life-prolonging miracle, I am praying for continued peace about the situation. Wednesday saw me spending a wonderful day with my grandparents. When Mommom was trying to remember little Natalie's name, Poppop proudly shouted it into us from the den. The happiness and pride in his voice was something that I treasure. Even if my daughter never gets to meet my grandfather, never gets to be lovingly held by one of the most amazing men I know, I will be able to tell her how much he loved her even before she was born.
It's hard--facing a future without one of the people you love most is difficult. Our visit this week reminded me of some of the awesome times that I got to spend with my grandparents. One advantage to being home schooled was that my grandparents were able to come on many, if not most, of our field trips. We went to the bison farm, to Washington, D.C., to battleships, to medieval feasts, to Philadelphia, to bird farms, and so many other wonderful places. These are the memories that I will lock away in my heart. These are the special times for which I am so thankful to God.
God, I pray that You would once again let him live. But if You don't, thank you for giving me the most wonderful grandfather and for letting us have such wonderful times together.