Early this morning, my Mom called me. She never calls this early in the morning-we're not early risers, usually! I knew something had to be wrong.
"Mom, are my Grandparents ok?"
I have six living Grandparents, including Tom's Grandparents, whom I love deeply and have always had a good relationship with.
Through tears my Mom explained that her dad, my Grandpa Jim Tice, had died suddenly in the night while being transported from one hospital to the next.
Can you feel the silence? When news like that comes it seems to me the earth pauses a moment while I try to take it in.
My Grandpa had pancreaitis and was recently in the ICU. Over Thanksgiving, I was able to see him. Heavily sedated, it was hard to know how much he recognized my presence.
Mara and I talked to him and told him what was going on in our lives. He was always a good listener. We held his hand and gave little massages. He could give the best back rubs! He looked just the same, even with all the tubes and lines running in and out of his body, only reclined and appearing to be asleep at times. He didn't look deathly ill.
I think we all expected he'd pull through this and laugh about it in the year ahead. We'd say, "Grandpa, do you remember when Mara and I sang to you? We sounded awful." Then he'd laugh that big belly laugh of his and shine his famous dimples. Grandpa had a lovely voice. He sang at my wedding.
Instead, I'm dealing with the reality that my beloved Grandpa is gone. No more intense games of Pente at Thanksgiving. Boy, he could sure play a mean game of Pente! I always rubbed it in when I beat him, for once.
He lived a full and happy life. He has 7 children and too many grandchildren and great-grandchildren for me to keep track of. None of us doubted how much he loved us.
We miss and love you, Grandpa. Already there is a void.
Grandpa is dead to this earthly life...but he's alive to a Heavenly one, and that's another kind of Living-the best kind.