So I found out several days after I wrote the last post that my Grandpa had passed away the day before--October 9th. He was 93 years old and was a good man who was very devoted to his wife and loved his children and grandchildren. We were, thankfully, able to go to his funeral; it was an 8 hour drive each way but Small Boy did amazingly well even though it was a very long 2 days. I learned several things about him at his funeral that I never knew, such as he was a poet; I knew he loved reading poetry but I didn't know he wrote it. He also wrote an autobiography, which we are looking forward to reading once Dad gets us a copy. Grandpa even had well-laid-out funeral plans that not even Grandma knew about--she and Dad discovered them in his files; it was amazing hearing Grandpa singing Taps at his own funeral, and hearing the final farewell letter he wrote to be read at his graveside service.
A death of someone in the family, someone who has been around longer than any of the rest of us, really makes you think. Makes you think about your own life, makes you reevaluate what you are doing with your life, what is really important in the end, where you will spend eternity, in essence, what the chief end of man is. It makes you better know the rest of your family/friends who are entwined in that person's life, for better or worse... And it also gives you a looser grip on things--you know, the things that seem so important now that may not have any significance at all later--those little squabbles with your spouse, irritations with your kids, etc. Because what really matters in the end is our love for God, and how we loved and cared for the people we left behind; did we leave behind painful memories and regrets for people to deal with on top of us leaving them, or did we leave them smiles and love to comfort them in their grief? No relationship is perfect, and that includes my grandparents marriage, but do you know what Grandpa left Grandma to remember after their 67 years of marriage? In Grandpa's last years he had severe dimentia and could hardly speak; but he carried around with him a card that said "I Love You" and would every day throughout the day, come up to Grandma when she was busy doing things, tap her on the shoulder and show her that card. THAT, people, is what we should focus most on leaving as our legacy. LOVE. And how much more love do we as Christians have to offer; for we have Christ as the greatest example of love-giving ever--He gave Himself that we might live again, in eternity with Him!
So as you go about your days and weeks and you feel yourself burdened with the cares of this world, do not give them more energy than necessary. Give your energy to loving those around you, and show them the perfect love that Christ gave you.