In just a month and a half, our sweet little Chloe will graduate from preschool. She’s a rambunctious mess with a tender heart and an imagination bigger than the oceans. I’m not ready. She’s no longer my baby girl, and I never thought it would happen this quickly. We got the note from her teacher a week or two ago about upcoming events at school, including preschool graduation, and that’s when it all started to sink in.
I began texting my family to let them know to mark their calendars when I reminded myself I should call my Papaw. He’s been to each of my nephews’ preschool graduations, camera in hand, big smile on his face. And then the tears began to fall.
I don’t usually cry about stuff. I can list, over the last ten years, the few moments in life that I’ve cried over. When my Papaw passed away last month, I didn’t cry. He had been diagnosed with cancer a few months before and I was grateful he didn’t spend a long time suffering and in pain. When I realized I couldn’t call him, I couldn’t help it. When I thought about Chloe up on stage at graduation without Papaw in the audience, I couldn’t keep the tears back. He was proud of his family, and Chloe loved her Papaw greatly.
(Point proven: Ben just walked in and saw my red eyes. I told him he needed to read this. Not knowing what “this” is, he laughed and said “Are you crying?” He did give me a hug and told me he loved me too…)
I wish I could hug Papaw one more time.
I didn’t realize until I started thinking about all of the things that are coming up, how much I wasn’t ready for him to leave. My heart hurts thinking about the memories that Maks won’t have, being 2, that Chloe has, being 5, or my nephews have, being 8 and 12.
After reading what I’d written so far, Ben (trying to stop the tears) showed me this verse from John chapter 16,
22 Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
As we celebrated Easter this past Sunday, it was hard not to cry all over again as I kept scanning the congregation for my papaw’s face as we sang in the choir. But as I watched the drama unfold, I couldn’t help but smile as the angel rejoiced at the empty tomb. Whether it’s a mountain or a mole hill that steals my happiness here, Jesus has provided a way for eternal joy through his death and resurrection. My Papaw believed that with all his heart. Do I miss him any less after reading that verse? Not really. But man oh man am I excited about the day that my Papaw and I can rejoice together. For now though, I’ll just keep the tissues handy…