There isn't just one word I can use to adequately describe this weekend. Here are a few that come to mind:
Many things are called beautiful. Sunsets. Paintings. Music. Words. People.
Can that, too, be beautiful?
When your heart is breaking, and you feel burdened by the weight of a thousand memories, it's hard to call anything beautiful.
Last night, as I stood around a quiet hospital bed with Jordan's family and said goodbye to his grandpa, it wasn't beautiful. It was difficult and painful and heartbreaking.
But then Jordan slid his hand into mine, and his mom pulled his grandma (her mother) close, and Jordan's dad said, "Let's pray."
And it was beautiful.
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Jordan loves planes, and every time I look at the sky and see an airplane or hear the sound of one flying above me, I think of him.
Jordan loves the Yankees. Much to my initial distress, because the Yanks are hated by all. But now, when I see someone wearing a pinstripe hat, I think of him.
Jordan loves hunting and fishing, and when I flip past a fishing channel, I pause a second instead of quickly moving on, because it makes me think of him.
Jordan loves history, and when someone asks an obscure question no one else knows the answer to, I think of him, because he would know.
And all those things I love about Jordan--those things that make him who he is--are things his grandpa loved too. Jordan's grandpa is leaving a legacy behind in his grandson, and that is beautiful.
Jordan's grandma said that over the past few weeks there have been people continuously streaming into the hospital room--the one with a sign taped to the door declaring that it's "Doc's Room"--to thank Papa Bob for his service to them. He was a doctor, a Christian, a strong witness of Christ, an amazing example of a loving husband and father who made an impact on many lives, and that is beautiful.
As Jordan's grandma, aunts, parents, sister, and close family friend gathered around his bed, I thanked God for allowing me to meet him. And even though he won't be at our wedding, he knew we were engaged. He knew Jordan was going to be happy. He knew he had set up a firm foundation in Christ for his children, who had passed it to their children. He knew he was leaving his earthly home for a heavenly room in God's house, where he wouldn't be in pain and would be able to hunt and fish and fly to his heart's content. And he was ready to go.
So as difficult and painful and heartbreaking as it was and is and will continue to be, it also was and is and will continue to be beautiful.
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"He has made everything beautiful in its time." (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
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