Korea has been weird in that it looks so much like Pennsylvania at times. Its so diametrically opposite of Texas that it has set my mind to PA many times. The trees, the hills, the bird calls, the pollen… I round a corner and could think I was down by the Juniata, or behind my parent’s house.
There I was thinking of my allergies, specifically and reflecting on how terrible they were in PA, and I got to thinking about my Granddad’s time here. So many questions to ask that I never thought of asking before. What did my Grandad think of Korea? Did he ever round a corner and think for a moment how much it looked like home? Did he also have allergy problems here?
These are the things I need to ask my Nana.
But I can’t. I was thinking of talking to her again and feeling the need to call her on the phone, and then it hit me as surely as if I had walked into a wall. Like a slow avalanche, I felt that knowledge wash over me. She’s gone on to defeated death and I can’t talk to her for now. And when I see her, or even meet my Granddad for the first time, I don’t know that I will remember all these questions. The heartache of death is that it comes and robs us of the comforts of community. It takes away those who connect us to the past and our identity. It brings no comfort.
And for now, that part of my life is gone. How many more moments like this will I have? When will it go away, and I won’t have that automatic reflex to reach out to her?
When I get to Pennsylvania I plan on going to the grave and saying my “goodbye for now”. I’m hoping that will help.
The greatest balm I have and know is the hope I have in Christ. Because I know and am sure of his rule, as surely as I take the cup and bread each opportunity I have, I know and am sure that I will see her again.