Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Parting of a Great Lakes

That's the best way to describe the last week and a half I reckon. I was looking so forward to going to Boston for nationals, but that got derailed in Iowa. (side note to Di from Dubuque: I hate that town because the last two years I've driven out there for the Hurster Cup playoffs... twice I've gotten to meet State Troopers if you get my So I had taken that time off from work and still thought about going out to bean town just to take everything in. But then I thought about my gal pal and figured spending the time with her would be a good thing as I really didn't have the heart to watch another hockey game that my team wasn't in. So my gal pal tells me that her grandfather wasn't doing well and it was a matter of time till he passed. I got out of church on Sunday morning and drove the long trip getting there in the evening. When I woke up on Monday morning, my gal pal calls me and tells me that he passed away at the hospice during the night. I went over to see her and her folks and hugged them. I didn't know what to do except to just be there. I spent lots of time with my gal pal because she was very close to her grandfather. They watched UK games together all the time. They shared alot of special moments together. I just tried to simply be there for her and her family. They were prepared for this as was her grandfather. He was very prepared and ready to go. He said he couldn't wait to go to Heaven. His faith was of utmost importance to him and he shared it with others in testimony and witness right up till the day before he passed. Friends and family rallied around my gal pal's family in a wonderful and loving way. It was funny because to give you an idea how serious they are about UK basketball... during the whole process of mourning and burying my gal pal's grandfather, in addition to saying kind words to the family about their loss, they also talked about UK getting a new basketball coach that same day. The conversation was going back and forth and they all were excited about UK naming John Calipari as their new coach. In fact on the day of the funeral, they had "Coach Cal's" news conference that same morning and I took my gal pal into the back office of the mortuary where they had the TV turned on to it and she watched it until it was time to head in for the services to begin. It was a very strong and moving service. Two different pastors preached at the service and while I am usually pretty stoic and not one to show any emotion at all, I had to hold back tears on a couple of occasions as I saw them mourning a really good man. It made me think a lot about my dad. I miss him a lot sometimes. I really do. It hit home during this whole time with my gal pal's family. I miss him so much but I don't wish him back for one minute. He's with my mom in Heaven. I couldn't him bring back here just for my benefit. That's just selfish. I know that he's in my heart. I felt in my heart that I just know that I was meant to be here. After a series of circumstances that came into play, I came to the conclusion that the good Lord didn't want me in Boston. He wanted me to be with my gal pal's family. I was meant to be there. The time that I left to be there until the time I came home which was the day AFTER the funeral... was the exact same number of days I requested off from work two months ago so I could go to Boston. Yeah, I think God had a hand in this and directed me where I needed to be. As for my gal pal, she was amazing. She handled everything with grace and kindness and no matter how tired she was, she always welcomed everyone that came up to her to express their condolences. She was exhausted, but reached out to everyone that was there and she was a real inspiration to me. I was so grateful for the honor of being allowed to be a part of the experience. I am grateful to have gotten to meet and know her grandfather a little bit. He was quite a charachter. I'm glad and thankful to God that I was able to be there and supportive of my gal pal. I learned so much about my gal pal, my faith, and the love of a community for a really good person.


Lynne said...

Men plan their paths, but God orders His footsteps! I'm glad you held an obedient ear and went to be with your GP's family. You went there with the intent to bless (and I'm sure you did), but you also ended up getting unexpected blessings yourself. God is pretty cool beans, if you ask me! Blessings to you Mik and my sincere condolences to your Gal Pal and her family.

madcobug said...

My condolences to your gal pal and her family. Yes you were meant to be with her and her family during this time.
Blessings, Helen

FrankandMary said...

I know(know know know) how in love you are with your gf, and I am so glad you could be there for her at a time like this. All of these shared experiences & loyalty, you've building something very strong. ~Mary

Carolyn said...

Mik- please tell your gal pal she has my thoughts and prayers. What a wonderful thing though, that you could be there, and that the family is so close and although missing him, know with peace where he is now, and get on with basketball too ;-) Please, Mik- would you guys hurry up and get married already?! Sorry, my big nose again, but it's so natural ya known and you've both shared so much more than many other people have a chance to! God Bless you guys and her family right now~

Robin said...

Sorry to hear about your dad, and your mother.

And, yes, sometimes just being there and giving of yourself, is thee absolute best gift.

I agree with you that God wanted you there, and not just for your "gal pal," either. Have a good day.