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Grief and Joy

Several years ago, two weeks in a row, we received phone calls to tell us that someone had died. My husband lost a first cousin, and then a very dear mentor/friend. The loss of the latter was most painful as we had been blessed by his life for 30 years. Our friend had taught us so much about God’s love and acceptance. We are better people for having known him. So now a huge hole exists in the state where he lived, and in our hearts. Yet we are confident that we will enjoy eternity with him.

The night after the heartbreaking phone call, I woke up a lot, reviewing moments from memories. And I started to forecast that there will be more unwelcome phone calls regarding other family deaths. I am not terribly encouraged about the future of this world at times. Add to that my own upcoming birthday accompanied by a new, large number. So I needed a dose of courage.

Later in the weekend, our adult son and daughter-in-law requested that the family share a meal together at a restaurant. As we waited to be seated, our son announced the coming birth of our first grandchild. What a sweet dessert for this portion of life! Now everyday when something frustrates or annoys me, I remember, there is a very special gift on its way. Friends assure me that this is the part of life worth waiting for. Of course I live in the experience of pre-reality bliss. I am aware that there are plenty of grandchildren that are heart breakers. New concerns exist also. (Our house is not baby proof!). But I will wallow in my moments of joy.

A special strand of grace weaves together grief and joy. Because of our friend’s life (and others’), I am confident that we will be better grandparents than if we had been blessed 10 years ago. We had lessons to learn along the way that had not blossomed or ripened until now. Legacies and love to pass along. This is the glory of mixing generations. Praise God for His influence in all the lives we know.

Questions for personal journaling or group discussion:

1. What are/were some of the lessons that you learned from your grandparents, if they were a part of your life?

2. If you are closer in age to a baby, or a Baby Boomer, spend a little time near someone at the other end of the age spectrum and journal on your awareness.

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About Karen Spruill

Karen Spruill

writes from Orlando, Florida.

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