Monday, April 28, 2008

#100 - Dominated Thoughts

Despite my best efforts, it seems that I cannot get my grandfather's recent death out of my mind. It's not that I'm depressed, but I can't help but reflect on the man I knew as my grandfather. His life, his legacy, and his passions have always seemed to influence me when I was not paying attention. I can't get his face out of my head, it makes it hard to concentrate at times. I have quite a few small papers to write, and a couple of larger ones, but the thing that dominates my mind are thoughts of my grandfather. Maybe I feel hurt, maybe there is a twinge of sadness in me... I know that he is in a better place, and that he is having a blast with his family there, but I miss him. I often wonder what kind of regrets he had, if any; I wonder if he knew exactly how much he was affecting lives, or if he felt like "the average joe". I bet he didn't realize the full extent of his impact, and I think that is true for many a man, and maybe God decides to allow that to be the case so that it can keep us humble. I mean, we struggle with pride a lot as it is, we don't need help in boosting our egos.

I'm ready to be done with school for a while. It's not that this semester has been all that strenuous, on the contrary, it has been mostly peaceful and relaxing minus a few twists and turns along the way, but I could never expect to have a perfect semester, because I'm human and make mistakes and that's enough to prevent perfection, but everyone else is human too (though I'm sure some don't act like it) and that is more of a reason. I'm just ready to stop feeling warn out. I need some rest; good, authentic, like a few days off, wholesome rest. I think that once I obtain it, that I will feel better.

I'm looking forward to the job I have at Lake Swan. I need to finish sending in paperwork, but I need to e-mail them about something first. I guess I'll do that tomorrow. I'm a little sad that I won't be able to hang out with the Poplar Point kids, but God has me going in a different direction and I cannot argue with Him.

This is my 100th post on blogger. I guess it's safe to say that the "trial" stage of blogger has been outdated, and it has become a major extension to my public communication (though my skills of communication seem to get smaller and smaller, or at least my perception of them). So, I wanted to do some big thing for it being my 100th post, but I couldn't think of anything, so it will have to remain as a passing notice.

Tomorrow is breakfast with Sammi and Jimmy, and then some homework. I go to bed now, good night.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Silence Is So Loud

You know, until yesterday morning, I never really realized how much Paw Paw smiled. I mean, subconsciously I knew that he smiled all the time, but to really see it yesterday was very overwhelming. It made it hard to stand in front of friends and family to simply read a poem, when the man that is Ralph Woerner was presented in such a way that tears hit me like a load of bricks falling off the empire state building. I don't think it was sadness, I wouldn't say I was sad, though I wasn't crying tears of joy either. I think Richard said it best, I was just overwhelmed with the love he had for us while here on earth.

I don't have tons of stories that I can share about our Paw Paw, but I do know that after hearing all the memories that have been shared these past few days that I can clearly see, and say with certainty, that much of the man I am today is thanks to Paw Paw. I am much more like him than I originally thought. He's the kind of man I wish to be as I continue to grow older in Christ and in this physical shell. The things that Paw Paw is notorious for, are the things I long to do. I want to be passionate about everything I do, I want people to feel unconditionally loved regardless of their past, I want to be able to give money without a second thought, to be hospitable to all who come my way. I even have his walk!! It's probably more of a Woerner thing than anything else, but I honestly think I inherited that shuffle he always had when he walked from place to place. I'm so proud to be in his family.

Paw Paw was a far better man than I could have ever really imagined. The more stories I hear about him, the more I think, "I wish I could have seen that Paw Paw." Then again, I think my interaction with him has always been a bit different than most. I never saw the fired up Paw Paw, unless he was being stern with me. The Paw Paw I have always known is the silent one. A man of few words, and wisdom that seemed to just leap out at you from his eyes. It was like he could read you like a book. I remember in these past six months, that the time I felt connected with Paw Paw the most, is when we would just sit in silence, in the lawn chairs in his car port, just watching, observing really, the movements of the family around us. I would look over at him and smile, and he would just nod his head. Words were not needed, we both knew that we loved each other. I guess that was just the way we reacted with each other.

There were so many more memories I wanted to make with him. Memories of my wedding, and even my first kid. I wanted him to be there to share those joys with me, but I suppose God decided that there was a better plan, and who am I to argue with the creator of the universe?
Paw Paw was just one of those people who fed to me a passion for people through his life. Through his actions, he changed my life, and we barely even spoke upon the theological issues. We were just two practical men, watching our family, and loving them all the same.

So on a day that I would normally reflect on how my life has been, I spend it instead reflecting on how my Paw Paw has infectiously changed my life for eternity, with one step at a time. I already miss you.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Wake-Up Call

So today, at about 10am, my father called to let me know that my grandfather had passed away. And though this is very sad news, I can feel nothing but peace hitting me wave after wave, and I can't help but thank God for the mercy He has shown on my grandfather for taking Him home. He had been going through some pretty rough stuff with his sickness and everyone was ready for it to be over with. God decided to bring upon him the ultimate healing, and I couldn't ask for a better answer to prayer. Paw Paw gets to miss out on all the sorrow this world has to offer, because he is too preoccupied with his savior.

I do feel a bit sad though. I wanted him to be around for my wedding, I wanted him to be there when I had my first kid, I wanted to be able to spend a few more years enjoying the company as we would go fishing for no other reason than to spend time together (he's really the only reason I enjoy fishing at all), I wanted to see him for just one more Christmas, as the Paw Paw I've always known him as, but none of these things seem to be in God's plan for me or my grandfather. Besides, if I wished it now, I would have wished it later, so regardless of my desires, no mortal life can last forever.

So, here is to you Ralph Woerner. May your legacy echo in the lives you touched for generations. Much love from all of us to you, tell Jesus I said hello, and give Him one of your infamous back slaps for me.

Don't know when the funeral is going to be, or even if I will have a way to get there. It will work itself out though. If I need to be there, then I will be there. If God needs me to stay in TFC, then I will stay in TFC. Such is life, one begins, another ends, and everyone else is somewhere in the middle. And thus, another life ends, but the effects he had on us will ripple through the waters of eternity.