I did not realize until now that my last post was the day before my Step-Dad died on April 28th. I honestly think that I have been avoiding my blog for that reason - and because I want to write about him but don't want to face the pain that brings.
That last post sums it up, though! Greg was so thankful, up until the very end. And he also experienced God's love even in his last few days, which is such a testament to me. It means so much to me to have seen God's faithfulness experienced and accepted by somebody who could just as easily miss or dismiss it under the circumstances. And now that Greg is gone, and I miss him so badly, I can follow his own example and decide to soak up the love that God has for me. I can choose to be grateful for all that I have, especially my loved ones who I also have only a finite amount of time with on this earth. And it's much easier to make those positive decisions knowing that Greg did the same thing himself when he was suffering and dying.
But he was that way when he was healthy, too. One of the greatest lessons that I learned from my Step-Dad is that it's so important to plan to make time for people who matter, and to really make those plans happen. He was always thankful for that time, and showed it by making the most of it, by making it fun and memorable. Greg's loved ones felt loved by this habit of his, as I know first-hand. I don't know that I'm good at actually doing that yet, but I hope to be by the time I am gone.
I could write (and have written) pages and pages about how blessed I am to have had this man as a Step-Father who welcomed me and cared for me like I was his own. I hope to keep his memory alive by never stopping acknowledging what a presence he was in my life, good, bad, hilarious and all. But had I had the chance to speak about him at his memorial, I would have talked about how he made time for all of us and how he made it special, whether it was time vacationing or time spent coaching a hopeless athlete (me - basketball, enough said).
What I did get to do at his memorial - which, by the way, was appropriately packed, appropriately sad to the extreme, but also appropriately humorous - was to pray. I prayed that we would all be comforted despite our grief by the fact that we will see Greg again (happy and whole!!), thanks to God doing what he did for us through Jesus. And that really does comfort me when I am crying over my Step-Dad.