Faith & Time: A Tribute to Grandpa

A week and a half ago, I received the heartbreaking news that my grandfather had passed away. After about a month of treatments, procedures and surgeries, he let go of his fight and has finally reached a state of peace.

I could spend paragraph after paragraph describing the incredible man Grandpa has been, but in truth, there are no amount or combination of words that would accurately shape him. Single-minded, proud, willful, selfless—all describe him perfectly, yet none give life to his true, vibrant personality that will be missed so dearly.

It’s the work he’s doing for my family, and especially for me, that I’d rather focus on.

Being in Peru, the situation has hit me particularly hard. While the majority of my family has been able to lean on each other for support and provide physical comfort to one another, I’ve felt stuck, alone, groping for any semblance of relief I could possibly find. Despite the kind words of countless friends, new and old, despite the reassurances that everything will be okay and that God has a plan, despite the idea that Grandpa now can be with all of us, all the time—I’ve suffered.

The helplessness of it all has weighed on me more than anything. I wasn’t there to give my mom a hug when she hurt the most. I lacked the solidarity that the presence of my aunts, cousins and sister could provide. And my brother—he’s been away from it all as well, and the most I can offer him is a phone call.

But Grandpa is present. Of that I’m sure. That’s how I know that my mom has reached her acceptance with what’s happened, and that’s how I know that everyone affected by this will find theirs.

It’s been a whirlwind of memories, disbelief and pure heartache. But I believe you learn a lot about life through death, and Grandpa’s passing has proven this true. Through it all, I’m beginning to discover the woman I am, the individual Grandpa has always been proud of and known me to be.

I’m not the little girl that I was when I got to know him. I can’t expect someone to pick me up when I fall, to cover my eyes when it’s hard to watch, to hide the realities of the world from me. I can’t just shut down and wait for others to make everything better.

I nearly did.

But Grandpa is giving me the strength to keep moving forward. He is teaching me how to grow up, a lesson I’ve so desperately needed. If I know Grandpa as I believe I do, he’d want nothing more than for me to hold my head high and continue living with dignity, grace and pride.

And so I will, if not only for myself but also for him.

With a little bit of faith and time, I will continue to make him proud each day and grow into the woman he never failed to see, yet I’m just now seeing for myself.

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Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1