I need to squeeze in a few “real time” posts in the ones that I am trying to catch up on.
We have been doing “25 ways over 25 days” Christmas initiative to Light The World in Service that you can find here.
As we were leaving for church this morning, Zach mentioned that we needed to watch the video for Saturday (day 10) as well since we had missed that. We said we’d (well, they – I’m driving) would watch it in the car (because of course, we were late).
So, we watched December 10th (you can see it here). The theme yesterday was “Jesus helped people walk, and so can you.”
Now, normally, I hear the theme, watch the little video and can quickly see what I can do, or say to act that day. But this one stumped me. “Jesus helped people walk, and so can you?” What are we supposed to do?
Zach read some of the ideas, and as he was saying them, my mind drifted to my Dad. And his death. And the eulogy I spoke at his funeral, 13. 5 years ago.
I shared with the boys (it was just Zach and Josh), how their grandfather loved to walk. He walked every day. Miles and miles. He would often be gone for hours, but you never worried, as you knew he just met someone along the way and probably had stopped to visit. He spoke to everyone that he met. He listened, he talked (I think we all got his talking gene) and he shared. At his funeral, so many strangers came up to me saying they knew my Dad from his walks! It was amazing and a true testament of his kindness and character.
At is funeral, I said this:
“…After he retired… he loved taking literature and writing courses and write poetry and short stories. He also had time to exercise: swimming, weights, and of course, continue the biggest passion of his life – that of walking. He loved his daily walks. He loved the people he met when he was walking and loved sharing their lives. He loved his walking partners.”
I shared with the boys that as my Dad’s cancer spread, it spread to his bones throughout his body. He one day tried to get up out of the hospital bed and his legs gave out. He was no longer able to walk. He was devastated. Walking was his passion and represented his life. During one of my visits, he shared with me how he could “still feel like he was walking — and could close his eyes and feel like he was walking with his visitors like he had so many times before his illness. “
My final comment in his Eulogy summed it up: ” On Friday, June 13, 2003, the final piece of the puzzle was laid as my Dad completed his journey here on earth. He was sad at the prospect of leaving this life, especially leaving behind his walking partners – the greatest one being my Mom. He told me only hours before he slipped into the coma that he would be watching over us as we completed our journeys here on earth. He quietly, peacefully slipped away and took his place walking beside our God.”
I told the boys, I love how they both have my Dad’s “walk”. It is a very distinct walk and I often think of him as I watch them walk and run on the soccer field.
I shared with them how he loved his grandchildren – even though he only knew them for a very short time (Zach wasn’t quite 2 and Josh was 4 months when he died), but I knew that he was walking with them ever since then. If they ever felt alone, they could turn and count on him being right there beside them walking the journey.
The Spirit in the car was very thick and I would have to say, it was a thin moment for all of us. The veil between heaven and earth seemed very thin and I’m pretty sure my Dad was right there with us.
“Jesus helped people walk and so can you”. We may not physically help people walk, but walking beside each other in this journey is certainly something we all can do.