Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I sing Hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all?
My grandpa passed away on March 29,2018. He had Parkinson’s Disease for 10 plus years and fought a good fight. God welcomed him home on that early Thursday morning with my grandma by his side. In the years leading up to his death, he would always ask me what I learned the previous week. A lot of times I would say nothing, and he would smile and say well you should learn something everyday. I miss having him ask me these questions and I miss his humor. However, I know he is with me everyday and is up in heaven, which gives me so much comfort. I’ve decided to write a letter to him, all about the things I’ve learned over the past 11 months without him here. So here goes…
To: Leon Brunswick
From: Your Granddaughter
It’s crazy you’ve been away from us for almost 11 months now. Over the past 11 months I’ve learned a lot of things and felt like I needed to share them with you, even though, you already know everything I am about to tell you.
First, I would like to say that the real world is no fun. I would rather be watching TV with you and grandma while eating Special K and watching for the various commercials you would make fun of or quote. While we are on the subject of my childhood, I would like to apologize for sticking a stick in a door handle and breaking your clothesline….my bad. Sorry for all of the pictures I drew of you, specifically the ones where I would draw you in a bikini and give you long hair and earrings. Although, you did keep those until you moved out of the house a few years ago, so I’m gonna go with you secretly loved them. Thank you for giving me so many wonderful memories, from shopping trips with grandma, countless trips to Bob Evans, recording special events, attending my sporting events, telling the best jokes and just being a wonderful example.
The second thing, well person is Jesus. Jesus has taught me that I am never alone and that you have not left us. You are with each of us everyday, even though we can’t see you. I believe my eagerness to learn more about the faith and be a better follower of Christ came from losing you. For years I worried about the day I would lose you or Grandma. It terrified me because you both helped me become who I am today. When the time came for you to leave us, I felt pain, I was mad but I knew you were going to be with Jesus and somehow I felt comfort along with the pain. Jesus was with me, you were with him, so I knew all was ok. I went through some grief and became angry a few times, but then I would remind myself that you are now in heaven, and have the opportunity to worship Jesus everyday. Jesus has also taught me how to love and how to let others love me. I’ve discovered over the recent few months, that I have trouble showing weakness. For years I tried to do life strong and independent, which is what took me so long to finally trust my whole life to God. I’ve had to go through a lot of internal battles with self image, self esteem and anxiety. I would try to hide most of it and never let myself have time to deal with things. Recently I’ve felt so run down and tired from life, I have not let myself rely on others to help me through, but now I am relying on Jesus. Times have been hard and I’m learning to lean on those who God has brought into my life, but the first person I need to lean on is Jesus. I leaned on Jesus while I lost you, but never felt like the rest of the issues in my life were as important. But, my feelings are valid, and God created me just the way I am because the world needs me to be me. I was born at this time and am living at this time for a reason. God doesn’t make mistakes. So, thank you Grandpa, I know I didn’t come this far alone.
The third thing I learned about is life. Life is truly beautiful. There are ups and downs, but all in all, life is pretty amazing. I’ve learned to look at the little things and cherish the little moments, especially when things get pretty crazy. This spring I’m going to start coaching track on top of the Y, helping with religion classes, bar tending on the weekends and trying to balance my personal life. But, I know God will help me through. As you know, I’ve intended to dedicate my life for the greater good and glory of God. I want to live authentic and share my struggles,weaknesses, strengths and success with others. I want others to know they are not alone and it is ok to be who you are. It took me so long to realize that what others say does not matter. The only thing that matters is who God says I am. He says I am loved, I am enough, I am beautiful, I am worth it and I am his daughter. I am a beloved daughter of God. Now that I know this, I know that I can do anything. It won’t always be easy, I’m going to get discouraged and feel like I’m alone, but I know he has great plans for me. He has given me all I need to make it through and then some. I’ve realized that he gave me the gift of speaking and being real with those around me. I’m still in disbelief that I write a blog and have talks on Instagram that people actually watch and enjoy. I know that I would not be where I am today without his help and yours Grandpa. He’s given me confidence, strength and courage to make it through anything. There are times I still have no idea what I’m doing and feel hopeless, but in those times I turn to God and know he has all of the answers.
Finally, I’d like to say thank you for all you taught me. Through grandma and you, I’ve learned what real love looks like. It’s sacrifice, wanting what’s best for the other person and loving the other person no matter what. I realized that I never had a good understanding of love because I was not letting myself love God the way I should. I only wanted things from him but never had a relationship with him. Now I do, and he is at the center of my life. Only through loving him will I be able to love others. Thank you for all of the cringe worthy jokes, silly songs, piano playing and attending my after school events when you were able. I hope I’m making you proud, I hope you know I love you and can’t wait to worship our Lord with you daily someday. We all miss you, but also know you are home. Life is just a stepping stone on the journey to our true home. Grandma misses you so much, but I know you are helping her, God is helping her. I’m at loss on what else to say, doesn’t happen much, but in the song I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me, I find more words. So grandpa, I’ll see you later alligator.
Surrounded by You glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus
Or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in your presence
Or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine