My family said a hard goodbye on Tuesday when my precious Grandaddy passed away He'd fought a long battle with cancer, but it was time for him to get some relief. The man survived three types of cancer, two heart attacks and never complained or questioned why he was having to go through any of it. He took it all in stride and it just added to his testimony. He was a Matthew Cuthbert type, a true kindred spirit. And he was always my hero.
More important than the deep love he had for his family was the love he had for God. He was a strong Christian who held various leadership positions in the church. I loved watching him look up scriptures in church and studying for himself as he followed along with the message. For the first few years of my life, my seat in church was in his lap. When we stood to sing, he always held the hymnal down where I could see it. My grandmother played piano, so we sat next to each other and sang together.
And, of course, we shared the love of gospel music. I know without my grandparents' influence, I wouldn't have the love for gospel music I have today. That's one thing we shared. We went every year to the gospel festival at Silver Dollar City together. I loved it each year because of the music, but more than that it was also my time with my grandparents. The last few years as he's been sick and not able to go, it hasn't been the same. When concerts were close to where they lived, I tried to go pick them up and take them so they could enjoy the music. It was something to still share with them every chance I got. Sometimes he might doze off during a song, but he was the only person I know who could nod off and still tap his foot perfectly in time with the music. :)
The song "As Good As Goodbye Gets" has been on my heart the past few days. Goodbyes are never easy, but I can take great comfort in that I know his relationship with Jesus and I know where he is today. I'm so thankful for the 81 years he was here. He did a lot of living and had a great influence on many people around him. The amazing legacy he's leaving behind is something we will continue to pass on for generations to come. And that's as good as goodbye gets ...