Love you, babe.
That’s what my PopPop always said, to everyone. It didn’t matter who you were. And this is the PopPop I knew the last many years.
I’ve been at a loss for words since he passed. The last week has felt like a blur. And I’ve missed him so much already. To think of him now is to close my eyes and see him with my Mommom, laughter and soft smiles, sitting down for the best meal with our Lord. Can you even imagine?
That is happening. He finally knows what Kingdom come is like. And one day he’s going to spill the beans about how we get around when we’re there.
To think of him now is to hear his voice, rough with the sweetest kindness about it.
Every time I close my eyes I hear words he said on repeat those last few days. All he wanted was water. He was a stubborn man, but gripped the gift of gentleness that he’d grown to know so well.
So he’d ask for the water, with a string of choice words attached.
“PopPop, what can I get you?”
I just want my water.
“PopPop, you can’t have water right now. What else can I do? Cranberry juice? Some applesauce? A blanket?”
Then he would sing his made up song,
Water, water everywhere and not a damn drop anywhere.
And in one of our last exchanges, he looked over at me with a half smile, and reached his hand up for me to take. I’ll never forget how he squeezed it, with the little strength he had left, and the mighty love he was still leaving trails of.
I love you babe, now get me some of that water please.
PopPop knew the life source that water had been for him for so long.
This weakness, this frailty…that was all new to him. To all of us. Because he had put up one hell of a fight for decades. For his one kidney, for his one body, for his entire family. That’s the PopPop we knew.
Strong, determined, on his feet, making scrambled eggs and crab cakes and taking us on his boat and gator. Always telling stories, always engaged, always having something to say about something.
One of the nurses came in to explain to him why he couldn’t have the water & my mom went on to explain to them why the water was so important. He had been drinking it for years, flushing his one kidney clean, and as he said in that hospital room,
Protecting it like a warrior.
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.
Just like PopPop knew that drinking water meant vitality and life, protection and guarding something that without it would suffer & fail,
so we know– and so my grandfather knew — the Living Water we draw from each day.
But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
PopPop, even in his suffering, failing and brokenness, drew from the truth centered on Christ. He dug his feet firm into forgiveness and reconciliation. He sought to live each day fixed with his eyes on a King, as a faithful steward of his time here on earth, as imperfect as he may have been. He knew it, and he knew his need. He protected his time here and fought for the forever, like a warrior.
He lived his moments with intention, blanketed in prayer and drinking up the promises that come with knowing our Savior.
I think he knew that the water he craved so badly in that hospital room was nothing compared to the water that was going to soon quench all of his longings and achings and hopes and years of faith.
And he now knows Living Water face to face, he will never be thirsty again. I can’t wait to see you again, PopPop. I love you, babe!