A few weeks ago I had shared that my grandfather was really sick and in the hospital. I was and am grateful for the prayers and thoughts that so many people had given for him all this time. Even as he was being taken care of, I still tried to be positive and held out hope that there was a chance he would get better. As in everything, God’s will be done, not ours. My grandfather, Harry Lloyd Thompson Jr., passed away a little before 5:30pm last Friday, May 4. This past week, my dad, aunts, and uncles have been in town and we have spent time together as a family remembering about him and remembering how important we are to each other.
I remember my grandfather (we called him Pa) would take my cousins and I out for boat rides often on the lake in north Georgia. Pa got me started in learning how to shoot. It was with him that I first shot a rifle and a shotgun and qualified for the rifle shooting merit badge as a Boy Scout. One time when I was riding with Pa in his Suburban, he told me about how to turn on the heater in the passenger seat, or as we all call it “the butt warmer.” Thanks to him, I love those things! He and Ma were at my high school graduation and they were there when I graduated from Ole Miss. The point of all this is that you shouldn’t take time with your family members for granted. Money and jobs are important, but they come and go. Being with people who love you is free and what is most fulfilling. Ma and Pa spent a lot of time trying to be involved in the lives of their children and grandchildren. For this we are grateful. I think that time lost with loved ones is one of the reasons why I have had bouts of anxiety when it comes to the fact that I am not married and with children yet. I understand that the biggest reason why that hasn’t happened for me is that in my past, I was not who my wife needed me to be. Some might say that I have time to figure this out. True, but I still can’t shake the truth that every day is without them is another day that I don’t get to be involved in their lives. I trust God that that time will come and when it does, I will make the most of it.
My parents, my dad’s sister and I were with Pa when he passed. I was grateful to God that I was there when I was so that I could pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy over him as he was taking his last breaths and after he had already passed. My cousin Olivia told me she was at Mass at this time. We were where we needed to be when Pa died. He was 84 years old. He was married to the same woman for 57 years. He had four children, nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He served honorably as a police officer in Fort Lauderdale for over 25 years. He lived a good life and had a nice family. I hope that before I die I will be able to say the same. We love you and miss you Pa!