When I started praying and thinking about what I wanted to blog about this month it took me a while, I am not going to lie. I wanted to tell you guys a story that has influenced my life and in return would inspire you. However after days and weeks of not knowing which story to tell, God put the story below on my heart, so I am hoping there is someone out there who needed to hear it.
My grandfather, who we all call Bud-Bud (which is the name I made for him since his real name was Buddy), was one of the strongest men you have ever met. Since I never really had a father growing up, he is whom I still consider to by Dad. As a very strong Christian, he guided me through life, teaching me to love the Lord and showed me how a true man of God is supposed to look. He would constantly remind me to bless my food and he loved to sing old southern gospel hymns while going through his normal routine.
At a very young age Bud-Bud was diagnosed with heart disease. Through the years he had over 20 heart caths, 17 stints, 14 bypasses and 3 bypass surgeries. Not only was he diagnosed with heart disease but he also had diabetes, a very rare type of arthritis- Anklosing Spondylitis, and many other complications. Almost every 6-8 weeks we would end up at UT Hospital with him having chest pains. In the summer of 2009 my mom called me on the phone in hysterics that they had rushed Bud-Bud to the hospital by ambulance with the possibility of a stroke, this time it is was different, this wasn’t the normal call I would get. This completely caught us all off guard, sure we had plenty of experience with the heart but a stroke?!?!?
For several days Bud-Bud laid there pretty much lifeless, until the day came that the doctor had to tell us the most horrible thing anyone could ever hear, “There is nothing else we can do for him, I am sorry.” So as the doctor had recommended we took him home without any treatments with hospice and prayed for the best. The Lord blessed us with several more weeks with him. We went to see him every day and in August of 2009, I had the blessing of being able to see his reaction when I told him I was carrying his first great grandchild, for my grandfather loved babies. However, as many of hospice patients do he gradually got worse day after day. Eventually he ended up being bed ridden in a hospital bed in the spare bedroom with oxygen and medicine to keep him comfortable.
The morning of September 11, 2009 my Bud-Bud passed away, but the most beautiful thing about this story is the way it happened. In the last days Bud-Bud was struggling for every breath, even with the oxygen tubes. It got to the point where he would stop breathing for periods of time. But seconds before he passed, my mom asked him if he could see Jesus? With a HUGE smile on his face he nodded yes. Then he reached up for his oxygen tube pulled it off his nose and took his very last breathe on this earth without any help at all. Then immediately he reached to, what I believe was, Gods arms opened wide welcoming him to the gates of heaven.
I firmly believe that at that very moment every ounce of pain he had felt for many years was gone. He was able to meet his mother, siblings, and friends that had gone on before him. He was able to run around without the arthritis holding him back and without a walker or cane in sight. And most importantly he was assured of something he had faith in his whole life and that was that heaven was real and everything he did for the Glory of God was well worth it!
Now I know some of you may have similar stories like the one I am sharing. But to me this hit me in a personal way. After 77 years my Bud-Bud lived what we call a “Christian life” and gave it all for Christ daily and in the end the presence of God was so true that day for my grandfather and in a way that I had never experienced before in my life. I got to witness a Christian being rewarded into the kingdom of God, with arms opened wide. And I can just hear God saying, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
That gives me what Paul and I call….. “Jesus Bumps”!
I know this isn’t a Christian song but I can’t help but to think of my grandfather when I hear Brad Paisley’s “Waitin’ on a Women” song verse below:
I’ve read somewhere statistics show
The man’s always the first to go
And that makes sense ’cause I know she won’t be ready
So when it finally comes my time
And I get to the other side
I’ll find myself a bench, if they’ve got any
I hope she takes her time, ’cause I don’t mind
Waitin’ on a woman
Every one of us has lost someone we love, whether it is a husband, wife, parent, child, sister, brother, friend, co-worker, etc. But I hope this story is a reminder that these people are waiting for us and right now even though it is so painful to not have them here with us on earth, it is so rewarding knowing that are receiving the showering blessings of heaven. There are many times where I recall times with my Bud-Bud and I can’t help but start to cry but even through all the pain and tears I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt he is waiting, maybe on a bench, in heaven for me and I truly believe he is watching over me everyday.