It was about a week ago that I got the call at 6am. My dad had let me know that my grandpa had passed away earlier in the morning. I thanked my dad for letting me know and hung up the phone.
For the next 24 hours I pushed the news out of my head, avoiding grief and avoiding over thinking it all. I avoided talking to my family because I had fears.
As I was driving to work a day after hearing the news, I had some quiet time. I drove pass a Burger King and that did it for me. It reminded me of the last moments I spent with my Grandpa. My brother and I had driven from Downey, CA to Juarez, Mexico (across the boarder from El Paso, TX) to pick up my Grandpa from the airport and get him a visa.
When we picked him up, he walked out of the plane wearing the beige sobrero he loved to wear with his jeans and tucked in button up long sleeve shirt. He welcome us with open arms, he called me mijo.. i know he saw the look on our faces, he knew we were happy to see him, i could tell because he smiled back.
We asked him if he would like lunch, he said yes. We asked what he wanted to eat, he said he wanted a 'torta Americano', we had no idea what he was talking about. We took him to a Mexican restaurant and ordered him a torta (Mexican sandwich). We asked if that's what he wanted, he just shrugged. The next day as we were driving around town, we drive pass a Burger King, he pointed at the sign and yelled 'torta Americano!' Turns out he was talking about a hamburger the whole time. We ate at BK, and he practically inhaled the burger. I had a lot of fun with my Grandpa the next few weeks, but that memory always stood out in my mind and would be a story I would share constantly about him...
So as I drove passed the Burger King the day after getting the news of his passing, it stunned me, and I could no longer hide the feelings I had over the loss. I gripped the wheel tight and I was overwhelmed with anger. I wasn't mad at God, I wasn't mad at anyone, I was just mad.. and I sobbed.
I really loved my Grandpa, and in my mind for whatever reason I believed that he would always be around because he always was. I loved that he was interested in everything I was doing in church, I loved that he would hear me when I told him about Jesus and what it takes to get to heaven, I loved that he was always available to talk to even though I didn't make myself as available. I loved his grace and loved that his love was unconditional not only for me but for all of his kids and grand kids.
Anger overwhelmed me because I kept thinking about how wrong death is. And as a believer of God and the bible I couldn't help but think that it is not supposed to be this way. When God created this earth and everything in it, His vision and desire was for it to be eternal. What interfered with that plan was Genesis 3, when the devil tricked Eve into eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and Eve gave to Adam to eat. God told Adam not to eat of this tree, and so after God confronted Adam and Eve, God presented them with the consequences of their actions. Some of those are pain, suffering, and death. I couldn't help but think, if they had just listened to God, my grandpa would still be here, and not just here, but healthy and well.
I believe though that Jesus grieves with us. When His good friend Lazarus died, He wept with Lazarus sisters who had said to Jesus, 'If you were only here, He would still be alive'.
I love so much though, that Jesus recognizing that everyone will die because of sin, that He died for our sins so that we get another chance at eternal life, and this time in heaven. I pray that God brought everything I told my grandpa back to remembrance before he passed, so that he would have responded to what Jesus did for him, repented in his heart and gave his heart fully to Jesus. It's all it takes to get to heaven.
I believe and know that even though my heart is hurting over the loss, my mom, aunts, uncles, and Grandma are dealing with it a lot harder. I would like to ask all of you to pray for my family. And a huge thank you to everyone who has been there, especially my awesome church who never ceases to amaze me in the ways of 'being there' for me when life gets hard. You guys are such a blessing.