We didn't really have a relationship in which he talked to me personally - he didn't ask me questions about myself or about my family. My mom, I think, gave news of my family to my Grandma, who then passed it on to him. By this, I feel that he knew of me. After my Grandma died and he was alone, I began to write weekly letters to him. He never answered my letters, not even once, but somehow, I felt much closer to him. I guess giving confidence to him, in this way, was placing a new kind of trust in him that hadn't been there before. But after the letters, he started to talk more to me - when we would go visit him, he had more to say to me. I loved this! Also, because of the letters, he remembered my name, and the names of my family even as, toward the end of his life, he began to forget some others. This is precious to me - that he remembered my name! Seems like such a small thing, doesn't it? Names hold more power than we give them credit for in our culture - ask any teacher!
I always think more of my Grandpa on New Year's Eve - it's the night that he and my Grandma got married in 1938! It's also the night she died, on the night of their 59th wedding anniversary. Every year after that, some of the family would visit with him on New Year's Eve, so he wouldn't be alone. So I always think of that on New Year's Eve. I remember him, and am thankful for the time I had with him in his last years. I miss him more every year! Not in a mourning/grieving way, anymore. I think it's that, each year, I realize, or understand the loss in a deeper way than I could have before. How wonderful that we are not ignorant about those who fall asleep, or grieve like the rest of men who have no hope!
We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
I use these words to encourage myself, and maybe you, on New Year's Eve, regarding the passing of those we have loved. If our trust is in Him, we will meet them again! Thank God for his Blessed Provision!