I’m sitting here at the end of my work day, watching 2 students finish some tests. They are finishing tests so they can leave early because their grandfather is in critical condition from a massive heart attack.
They’re so young to know that hurt.
I remember that hurt. Except my grandpa had cancer. I was in middle school when he passed away. I was jealous because my sister had him at her high school graduation, and I didn’t. I wanted more- more time with him, for me. I wanted to eat more popcorn, sitting on his lap. I wanted more big bear hugs, more, more, more. I remember thinking that this couldn’t have been as hard on adults as it was on me.
Now, here I am as an adult. Another grandparent is in and out of critical condition. Her heart, her sweet, loving, “grandmothering” heart is failing.
And you know what?
It’s no easier as an adult. I still want more. I still want more memories of MY child with her. I still want more meals around her old kitchen table, hearing her heels click, and having her offer me ice cubes for my juice (which I used to roll my eyes at- who puts ice in their juice? Oh to have do-overs in life…) I want to hear her tap out more tunes on her old piano, and walk into her house at promptly 11 AM, to catch The Price is Right with her.
But my perspective has changed somewhat. I hurt more now for others. As an adult, I realize more fully the scope of a person’s life. Who will be hurt the most of all when the Lord takes her? As much as I love her, if she goes, it won’t be my heart that is most broken.
It will be the heart of my sweet Grandaddy, who has stood by her side for over 60 years of marriage.
It will be the hearts of their 5 children, my Dad included, who adore their mother. The mother who has prayed tirelessly for each of them day in and day out.
I guess that’s the difference. I guess that’s what adult-hood brings. No less hurt or pain, but an understanding that I’m not the only one hurting, not the only one in pain. A reminder to reach out to others, to seek to come alongside others, and really embrace the fellowship of sufferings. To see beyond myself, and my pain.