Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Grandpa is with Jesus now

Donald C. Finley
June 24, 1919-Feb. 16, 2010
On February 16, 2010 my grandpa went to be with Jesus. He is now walking the streets of gold singing in his beautiful tenor voice I have heard so much about. He is not hurting anymore and can breathe. I am sure he and my wonderful father in law are sitting around talking about geneology. I know what my father in law is telling him too...he is saying, "Don, I told you that you were Scottish. You kept telling me you were Irish, but I knew that wasn't right. I did all the research on the Finley family." If I know those two great men, they are just smiling at each other sheepishly not willing to concede. Maybe Grandpa is walking with my little sister, Kirstine, getting to know her. She was taken away from us all when she was just a month old. Or maybe he is reuniting with his parents, brother and sister. Who knows...but I am sure he is having a great time.
The funeral was actually nice (if you want to call a funeral nice). Grandpa told my husband that he didn't want it to be about him. He wanted it to be about Jesus. The week before he passed away he was asking my husband to pray with him. Brian had the chance to pray with him.

It still hasn't really hit me yet that he is gone. I still keep thinking that I can pick up the phone and call him. One day I know I will accept the thought and then try to pick up where I left off. Right now I just sit and think about what I wish I could say to him... or tell him. I have my times where tears well up in my eyes. I know that I will see him again, but I was not ready (nor would have ever been ready) to give him up. Even though we didn't always see eye to eye (that is that Scottish temperament) we loved each other and I felt safe around him. He always took care of me when I was little and then at times when I was older.

So, like everything, life must go on. Spring will come and the birds will sing...the flowers will bloom and new life will begin. The circle of life will continue. I just wish it wasn't so hard for those of us left behind.
I love you Grandpa and I will miss you!
Until next time ~


Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Generation passing...

This week has been one of the worst weeks in a long time. Last Saturday (Feb. 6) I received a call from my mom that my grandpa was in the hospital again...and he was not doing well at all. So off to Oklahoma City we go. After driving for several hours, we arrived around 8pm on Saturday evening. As I walked into his room, I was hit with the reality that a man I have always known as very strong, was very weak and brittle. He was sitting up with a mask over his face, struggling to breathe. He looked at me and smiled a weak smile and said hello. I was stunned by what I saw, but I knew I had to keep it together. We were told that it would not be long. One day turned into two which turned into three...by Tuesday he was better. The hospital staff was stunned at how strong he was at his age....my grandpa is 90 years old. Amazing!

I started thinking back on the memories I have with my grandpa. I remember being at his house (I was about 4) working in his garden. He introduced me to rhubarb and green beans. I remember sitting on his porch with a big bowl of beans in front of me. My grandma showed me how to snap the beans and put them into the "good "bowl. Grandpa sat and read to us from the Bible while we worked. I remember the time that he was watching my brother and I. We were suppose to be taking a nap. I was a curious child (I am getting my just desserts, as I have a child just like me) and I picked up what I thought was a pen. It turned out to be a tear gas pen. I found that out when it went off and my little brother was crying because I had shot him with tear gas. I remember the time that I took one of his metal drinking glasses and ran it thru the can opener. My grandpa would just look at me a smile. Later in life, he gave me that glass. I still have it. As I sat there watching my precious grandma take care of him, worrying about him, and trying to help him in any way that she could, I was reminded of the legacy he would be leaving behind. My grand parents have been married 67 years. I have watched their beautiful dance for 43 of those years and have been amazed at many things. I have learned so much from both of them. They have two children who have families of their own. My dad and sister both have wonderful marriages with beautiful families. All of whom are Christians. Grandpa's legacy doesn't end there. He is a very strong, proud Scotsman who has given of himself over and over again many times. He has told me about the survival of living thru the Great Depression. He has told me about what they ate during those times. I am amazed at his spiritual strength as well. It is his strength that keeps us all moving forward.
So, right now, it has been a week...he is still in the hospital and we have been down there twice this week. He has had good days and bad. But sadly, I think it will come to an end very soon. He is starting to weaken even more. He is having more trouble breathing and is on as much oxygen that he can handle. There is so much more that I could write about him....but for now, I am just thanking the Lord for putting such a strong man in my life. He has been the backbone of our family for many years....even when his very opinionated self (and if you are Scottish, you would understand) has gotten in the way or made someone upset. I am thankful for his spiritual strength that he has shown me.

I must close for now, but I will keep you updated.

Until next time....
Gayla