I've been sitting here thinking about change. A topic that comes to my head more often than not. It's amazing, isn't it? How quick things can change. How quick it is for someone to enter your life or how quick it is for them to leave it. Choice or by chance.
Imagine, looking at an old picture of all your loved ones with you. It's an old picture, so you are that scrawny, awkward child in the front. As the years go by, you keep this picture and you look at it. But, as time passes, something is different. You notice that the picture doesn't change, not at all. But the environment, the people, everything in reality does change. You notice that some of these people in the picture are no longer around because they have passed on or they choose not to be in your life because their life path is not tied to yours. You notice that the grass, garage, house, and everything hiding in the background is significantly different as well. In those moments, you don't realize that everything is changing. How many times in life, do you stop and realize that everything around you is changing? Tragic moments, yes, but everyday life, no.
I can pick out plenty of times in the last year that I knew my life was changing, and the first thing that comes to mind is the passing of loved ones. It's absolutely crazy how you can care so much about someone and suddenly they are gone. I figured this out the day that I lost my grandpa and grandma almost a year ago. Although, it was almost a year ago, it seems like yesterday. I always thought the whole flashback thing only happened to people in movies, where an image or certain event would replay in their head over and over again and it was almost like the world around them didn't exist in that moment when the flashback was occurring, but it's real. The flashback of actually watching my grandma and grandpa take their last breath, all within two weeks of each other, occurs at the most random times and I have to try my hardest to keep myself together. I could be working out, with friends, or in class and completely zone out, remembering what is was like to hold my grandpa's hand while he was laying there with the machines keeping him alive. I remember watching his chest go up and down normal, then slower..then slower..until it no longer was doing anything at all. I remember for the first time since as long as I can remember my grandpa's hand, was no longer holding my hand back. I remember crying every night, screaming and crying until I'd eventually fall asleep. The funeral came and by this point I was completely numb, I couldn't cry, I couldn't feel anything.
A week goes by and my family and I were back into the hospital but this time it was for my grandma. As always, she was cracking jokes. I stayed for awhile but then headed back to kearney to get some things because we all kind of thought she was going to make it until morning, we were told she would. About a half an hour after I got back to Kearney, I got a phone call saying she wasn't doing good and that I needed to get back to the hospital as soon as possible.
When I arrived at the hospital, she was completely different just not good at all, I'll spare the details. Not to long later, it was exactly a replay of what my family went through a couple weeks earlier. We didn't have time to even grieve over our current loss, and then this happens? All I remember is asking why?..Why, Why, Why? And sat down in the hospital chair and just stared at the wall. I didn't know what to do next. My grades were slipping, my family was hurting, I was lost and losing faith. I watched my parents, the two strongest people I know, break down and cry. I didn't know what or where I was going from there.
In those two weeks, I knew my life was changing. Life around me was changing, but me, I changed in those days too. I loved a lot more and told the people I care about more often how much they mean to me, I hugged more, I had more appreciation for the people that I cared about and the people that I didn't even know. I remember seeing a lady crying in the hallway at the hospital, when my grandpa wasn't doing well and something told me to go talk to her, tell her everything is going to be alright and I did. And she said "thank you" and I saw true thankful eyes and for that moment, I knew that God was telling me to give her that message, but I realize now that by helping her and giving her reassurance, it was a way of God telling me that same message.
Things happen in life that we may never understand. I know that their time here on earth was over and God had called them home and they are in a much much better place. As for us, the ones that are still here..we need to choose to take these hardships and make us better people. As easy as it is to just become bitter and hate everything and everyone around you, God is leading you in the direction of where you are suppose to be going. And the people you lose along the way, whether it be by choice or by life events, they were meant to be in your life, you are going to miss them, and yes it's going to hurt, but I believe that someday we will all meet again.
Just remember that anything or someone can be taken from you in the blink of an eye. Don't ever take anyone for granted. Love a little deeper, laugh a little more, and enjoy the time you have on earth with the people you care about the most. And never forget that everyone has a battle they are fighting, always be kind to those around you because you never know what they are going through. Always give thanks to the Lord for the things and people that he has blessed you with. Thank him for the time you got to spend with the people that mean the most to you. One day you will look back and everything will be different, but the one thing that remains the same, love. Love for God, your family, friends and everyone around you. "Love one another, as I have loved you." John 13:34