The Lord is MY Shepherd

The last week, and the past few years, have been really tough on our family, and if you’ve been following the blog, you probably know what I’m talking about. My grandfather has Alzheimers, and it’s really hit me hard personally especially since I saw him on Thanksgiving, and I just wanted to share with all of you what’s been on my heart lately…

We had Thanksgiving at my grandparents’ (mom’s parents) house this year, like we normally do, and I had a great time seeing my aunts, uncles, granny and grandpa, but I noticed that my grandpa wasn’t acting right when we got ready to eat because he said he wasn’t hungry. It turns out that he wasn’t feeling good, and after everything he has been through the past few years I really can’t blame him. When we got ready to leave later Thursday evening, I went over to where grandpa was relaxing in his recliner and just held him for a few minutes. I sat there talking to him and told him how much I loved him, and if he needed anything to call us. While I was sitting there holding him and talking to him, the emotions just took over, and I started crying my eyes out and told my grandfather I loved him and didn’t want him to die. He said he didn’t want to say goodbye or have to make “a call.”

When he told me that, I started crying even more because I knew exactly what he meant. He doesn’t want to leave his family behind and have to say a final “goodbye” or have my grandmother make the most horrible phone call I think she ever will have to make. I thought about my grandfather all the way home and all that night. The next morning, I was talking to mom and I started crying AGAIN because I was telling her what my grandfather said. Then later Friday, or it might’ve been Saturday, my sisters were talking about Christmas and asked me when I was going to go shopping with them. Then I just broke down and lost all control…

I forget exactly what I said, but I remember I said something like, “Can’t we just skip shopping this year? Can’t we just go over and spend some time with grandpa and enjoy this Christmas? Doesn’t ANYBODY care about what I want???” Keep in mind I was frustrated and fighting back tears while saying this because I was and still AM heartbroken that my grandfather is slowly dying, and I’m having to just sit on the sidelines and watch.

Before I go any further, I want to back track and mention that I have always believed in God, and He has always, and I do mean ALWAYS, been there for me through a lot of sad times and a lot of great times. God has really lifted my family up the past few years, especially my mom’s family, having to deal with my granny’s diabetes and my grandpa’s Alzheimer’s, but lately I think my faith has been lacking in God’s ability to shelter us from Satan’s blows and attacks.

You see, sometimes I really have no idea what to pray for, or for that matter HOW to pray, and I just do not want to seem foolish or stupid to God. But yesterday morning, thanks to my very best friend and a dear co-worker, I now know I am never foolish in God’s eyes because He created me and He knew me before I was even born. I know my grandpa is going to heaven one sweet day to live side-by-side with our Heavenly Father, but lately I’ve been so caught up in my grandpa slowly dying that that’s all I can think about… Maybe I’m being selfish because I don’t want my grandpa to die and leave ME and his family, but I need to shift my focus to what waits for my grandpa on the other side. I know God already has a place for him in the middle of a beautiful meadow overlooking a valley or lake, with a new house where he will never be in any pain, won’t have to face the horrors and torment of a cruel world and can live forever rejoicing that he can remember who he is and who his family is. As I close, I am reminded of what Charles and Caroline Ingalls said when they found out their newborn son had just passed away….

Psalm 23

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

And Vince Gill’s moving tribute to his brother, which is a great reminder to all of us who’ve lost a loved one that they have gone to heaven “a-shouting, love for the Father and the Son.”

Or Brooks and Dunn’s amazing reminder that “There’s more to life than just what I can see.”

Or Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill’s powerful, heart-warming proclamation: “My God, How GREAT Thou Art.”


8 thoughts on “The Lord is MY Shepherd

  1. I feel for you, Jason. It’s very sad watching someone go through this at the end of their life but you and your family share an amazing love and have many happy memories which some never experience. I know that doesn’t help much but it’s something to be proud of.

  2. Wow Jason that was beautiful. Im so sorry that your family has to watch this happen to your grandfather. All you can do is love him through this and know he will be in a better place and he will have his memories back and he will be at peace. It’s an impossible pain to measure when your losing a loved one and to watch it happen slowly is horrifying, but as you said focus on whats waiting for him on the other side. I wish I could do something to help you all with this but its a personal journey for each of you. Thank you for sharing this with us!!

  3. I don’t know where to start. I applaud your courage to share how much you love your grandpa and family and how difficult it is to watch Alzheimer’s steal him away. Few men would be so courageous, open, and allow us all into the deepest of feelings.
    Your friend is absolutely right, God is not judging how you come to Him in prayer, He just wants you to come. He can handle the burdens you’re carrying and wants to give you comfort and peace. Many things happen in this world that are hard to understand but God works for the good of all that honor Him. One day we will know the things we don’t understand. As hard as it is to see your Grandpa go through this and slowly slip away he had made a great impact on you for you to have this much love for him. Cherish the memories, cherish the time you now have and call on the name of our Lord when it becomes difficult and overwhelming. He promises to give us rest if we just go to Him with our burdens.
    The great news is you know where your grandpa is headed. Many people will never see and be in the presence of Jesus. Just imagine that glorious day! You are right, your grandpa will no longer suffer, and all will be well with his soul.
    You are an awesome guy and grandson. Your grandpa is very blessed to have such a lovine grandson.
    You my friend are in my prayers as your grandpa and family are too.
    God’s blessings on you, your grandpa and family.
    Hugs my friend

  4. Jason- This is a beautiful post about love, family and faith. It is wonderful for you to so openly share your heart with others. Many times people feel so alone and that nobody gets what they are experiencing, so posts like yours, full of honesty are very needed! It is normal to feel so many different feelings and to question things when we are hurting. I pray you will find the peace and comfort you need as you pray through this situation.

  5. Hola, Jason
    Thanks you for sharing this very personal part of your life with us. I truly feel for you and your family. Having gone through this with all of my grandparents, I know exactly what you are talking about, and I can’t even think of when the moment comes for my own parents [God bless them]. You are doing exactly what helped me while trying to comfort myself and my family: find refuge in God, know that He has a plan, and thank Him everyday for blessing you with them in your life. A big hug to you and merry Christmas. ~ Elianne

  6. That was very moving Jason. I, as you, believe that when we reach the other side there will be no pain, only joy. Celebrate his living now while you can. I hope you and your family have a blessed Holiday Season filled with laughter and time honored traditions 🙂

  7. You and your family are in my thoughts, Jason. I’ve been through this, as well, and you’re definitely in the right mindset. Stay positive and know we’re here to help however we can!

  8. I totally understand where you are coming from! Thoughts are with you and him! I wish I would have stopped and spent more time with mine as well.

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