Relay for Life: In Memory of Gramps


Heaven is the face of my Gramps, with light blue eyes that disappear when he laughs. Heaven is the place where he calls my name and says, “Sarah, come sit with me a while.” God I know, it’s all this and so much more, but God, You know that this is what I’m aching for. God, You know, I just can’t see beyond the door, but in my mind I can see a place where Your glory fills every empty space. All the cancer is gone, every mouth is fed, and there’s no one left in the orphan’s bed. There’s no more goodbye and there’s no more enemy, no more!

So, Relay for Life was last night…all night. When we first signed up for it, I wasn’t really that excited about it. Personal experience has probably made me a little biased, but it does not feel like we are any closer to curing cancer than we were years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that we are trying and that we are trying to find a cure. It just doesn’t seem like we are really getting anywhere on it. I guess that might be the reason why I didn’t really care about joining a team at first. Then I thought, eh why not. I might as well. It could be fun right? And so I joined a team and went.

When I got there, my attitude completely changed. All the sudden I realized just how many people there had actually been affected by cancer and were there more to remember the loved ones they lost than to just raise money for cancer cures that seem so far out of reach. That changed my mindset.

Sitting at the illuminaria ceremony was hard. It’s always hard to remember the people you’ve lost, even if you know they are in a better place. It is however, comforting to know that you are not the only one suffering from loss which is exactly how I felt as I looked around the semi-circle. As the music began to play and the lights were turned off, I took time to remember my own experience with cancer.

It will be one year in June since my Gramps died of Leukemia. It’s been a hard year dealing with that as well as the death of two of my other grandparents fairly close in time to his death as well. There have been ups and downs and although I know he’s in heaven, it’s still hard sometimes without him here. I miss talking to him- about anything, nothing, whatever was on my mind. I miss his laughter and his goofiness. He could make my Granny smile the way no one else could. Not only was he a great person to be around when you were feeling silly or needed a laugh, but he was one of the most Godly men I ever knew. We used to have a lot of very deep conversations about things that were going on in life and no matter what it was, he always encouraged me to read my Bible, to talk to God, and to trust that God knew what he was doing whether I did or not. He never blamed God or cursed him for the unwanted events in his life. Even during his battle with cancer, he was still praising Jesus and his faith was even stronger. I marveled at that. In my mind he was like Job. Of course, he didn’t have quite the experience Job did, but cancer is traumatic enough.

His constant faith and his humble attitude throughout the last few years has made me want to be more like him. Of course, I’ve always seen him as an incredibly Godly man who I looked up to but that experience only increased my admiration for him even more. I only hope that my light will shine as brightly for Jesus as Gramps’ did. I love and miss him so much, but the memories I have of him and the legacy he left me will always be in my heart.

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