Thursday, February 2, 2012

The day my Grandpa Died

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”- Ephesians 5:15-17

Today I'm remembering one of the first men in my life- my grandpa- Stan Fink. We lived a town apart, just across a bridge from each other. I saw him several times a week for most of my life. He was known by most as former editor of the Atlantic City Press. But to me, he's the guy who wrote amazingly personal and wise letters to all who he loved, made up silly games for my sister and I to play, had the cookies stashed in tins under the sink counter, and watched the stock market close every day. He babysat us regularly (long after my grandma passed away), bought us nice things or wrote checks with generous amounts as gifts, picked us up from school, signed me out of school and took me to get my cast removed in 5th grade,  came to all my concerts, soccer/t-ball/cheerleading/softball games, made us ice cream sundaes, took us to the beach, took me on dates to go eat mazzo ball soup, let me pick several horses to "bet on" before he left for the racetrack, and even let all of us in my family live with him in different seasons.  He was not even close to a perfect man, but he was a WONDERFUL grandpa.  He loved us and made my sister and I feel incredibly special. 

My last conversation with him was my freshmen year of college. It was pledge week and he wanted to be sure I was choosing a national sorority (I did). We planned for me to meet him in Florida over spring break. Two days later I received a phone call from his lady friend saying he had a stroke (my parents were on a cruise) and the next day he died. It was groundhog day. Phil saw his shadow. It was also bid day- I really didn't care that I'd been accepted to the sorority that had seemed so important to me the day before.

Today is the anniversary of my grandpa's death. It's always a hard day because he died still seemingly far from God. The day he had a stroke I wrote in my journal a prayer to God asking for a chance to talk to Grandpa about Him. And then I wrote: "Will I even share with him if I have the chance? I really don't know." 

I loved him so very dearly and it grieves me and terrifies me to think he could be in hell. I cling to hope that God says He has mercy on whom He has mercy. Maybe He had mercy on Grandpa? I just don't know. And I'd be lying if I said I have a deep peace for his salvation. But I have a full trust in God that He is good and that Him saving any of us is evidence of His incredible grace and love. 

This day each year is a day of grieving for me, but also a day that spurs me on. Why? Because I never want another day like it. I don't want to wonder at funerals of people I love and wish I had shared more bodly, clearly, or even at all about Jesus who saves us from our sin and death. I pray that I really will make the most of each blog, each facebook post, my daily conversations, etc. If this is my only opportunity or last, may it be filled with awe of Christ and the love I've received from Him. I'm praying others- from my kids, parents, friends, and neighbors, to the people passing through my blog or reading a facebook post will see Him in me and long for Him as I know Him- as THE great Savior and loving God.

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