Turtles

It’s been an incredibly tough weekend for my family and I. On Wednesday evening we lost the greatest man I will ever know, my grandpa, and on Saturday we laid him to rest. While I have peace in knowing that he lived an incredibly full life to the age of 85 and is now rejoicing in paradise, my heart is still very heavy at the thought of continuing without him. Sometimes it feels so hard to take the first few steps forward without the presence of someone that’s been so influential in your life. I feel incredibly blessed to be his granddaughter and that I spent so much time with him. I feel blessed that I spent his last day with him and ate his last meal with him. It’s still hard to believe he’s actually gone. Just last week I was talking to him, hugging him…learning from him. Shane and I have talked a lot about moving forward. Shane loved my Grandpa just as much as I did. It’s now incredibly important to us to continue the legacy that my grandpa started. His incredible faith, his discernment, his wisdom, his success, his work ethic, his perseverance, his charity, his warmth, his compassion, and his joy are all pieces of him that we are determined to carry on with us.

My grandpa collected turtles. He and Grandma’s house is full of hundreds of turtles that he and others have picked up from all over the world. On Friday night, my family and I all picked out a few turtles as mementos and reminders of him. Now they sit in my house and serve as quiet reminders of the example he’s been for so many people. He was my favorite person in the world, and now these turtles are my favorite earthly possessions.

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This little guy is sitting in the kitchen window sill. I plan to sit an air plant in it. I love that I will see this turtle every time I cook. Everyone who knew Grandpa knows the man loved to eat!

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This turtle is a bigger turtle. I wanted one that would have a bigger presence in our house. I’m not sure where I will keep him. It’s likely he will get rotated to different places, as most things in our house do. It will always sit somewhere out in the open, though. I want to pass by it frequently.

It feels hard to move on, but it also feels so important to move on and continue what he started. Today, the first quiet day since his passing, I choose joy. I choose hope. I choose to celebrate the life that he lived. I choose to rejoice that he is home.

I love you, Grandpa. I will forever be grateful for the example you’ve been for me.

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed– in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law, But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15: 51-58

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