It has been quite some time since I have updated my blog. About a week and a half ago, I heard the news that my grandfather had passed away. I made the decision not to attend the funeral, but instead wrote a letter to my grandpa. It has been a bit difficult at times, and have been spending a lot of time praying, and learning how to grieve while overseas. It has been a challenge, but I know that God is with me here in Austria. I am also very thankful that I was able to enjoy so many years with my grandpa.
Here is the letter that I wrote for the funeral.
Dear Grandpa Giles,
I never have been very good at saying goodbye. It’s hard to believe that the next time I come to the US you won’t be there. I know that now you are in a better place and are spending time with Jesus, please tell Him hello for me.
I will always remember how as a boy I always looked forward to going to Grandpa’s house, knowing that we would be playing games, and going for long walks together. I always enjoyed your sense of curiosity. Mom often says that I am just like you finding random facts and sharing them with everyone. I still remember when you bought a belt buckle with a large “G” printed on it. We would always play with the buckle turning the “G” sideways or upside down, but then one summer you came and told us, “Well now I’ve fixed my buckle so you won’t be able to play with it anymore.” I know you always secretly enjoyed how we would tease you and laugh with you about your goofy ties.
Thank you for teaching us important things, like how to flatten pennies on the train tracks, and how to make interesting meals like milk toast and crackers and milk, and of course your personal favorite Oyster Stew.
Grandpa, I hope you know how much I loved you. Like you I have often struggled with being able to forgive myself, but I know that God forgives me, even when I can’t forgive myself.
But my favorite memory of all, was to hear how proud you were when you heard I would be working with TWR in Austria. It really moved me to tears when I heard that you and grandma were always asking everyone to pray for me, and telling everyone how your grandson was working as a missionary oversees.
I am so thankful to God for letting me get to spend so much time with you. It seems like we never really know how blessed we are, until God takes it away.
With all of that said, it is time to say goodbye for now. Make sure you get some games ready for us to play when we join you again, and try and find some good hiking trails too. In this case I prefer the German version of goodbye, Auf Wiedersehen, or until I see you again.
Thank you again for all of your prayers. Your prayers and support are very much appreciated.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”