An unknown author once wrote:
Grandparents bestow upon their grandchildren
The strength and wisdom that time
And experience have given them.
Grandchildren bless their Grandparents
With a youthful vitality and innocence
That help them stay young at heart forever.
Together they create a chain of love
Linking the past with the future.
The chain may lengthen,
But it will never part…
Grandpa was often called Grandpaw Far Away by Jason and his brothers because of the distance they had to drive to visit him when they were younger, but was known by most as Grandpa Bristow. I’ve often heard stories of fishing or camping trips and how Grandpa Bristow use to take them out on his boat when they were young boys. He even took Jason and I fishing the summer of ’98. We didn’t catch a thing and I remember seeing the disappointment in both Grandpa and Jason’s face that they didn’t catch any fish. He told us, “that’s okay, we’ll just have to go another time”. That was the plan, however, we put off fishing trips year after year – and now there will be no other fishing trips with Grandpa. This past weekend Grandpa Far Away passed away.
So as we reflect back on the past, and our memories of Grandpa Bristow, I’m reminded:
“God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears and light for the way.”
We’re thankful that we were able to see Grandpa Bristow pretty recently. This past May we spent time with Grandpa while at Josh’s wedding.
Though Grandpa Bristow had grown older, this was certainly unexpected. This past weekend we got the call that he had broken his hip and had to have surgery. Due to having grown weak over the last few months we were told that everyone was concerned how he would recover after such a serious surgery. Sunday morning I had spoken with Terri and she said he was doing much better than expected, which though it was nice to hear, all I could think was what Jason had mentioned of his mother passing away – that she had gotten much better and then unexpectedly passed away. It was only a short time later when we received word of his passing.
On the day we heard Grandpa Bristow was going to have surgery Hope stopped what she was doing to draw a get well picture. She said he was going to be so happy to see her picture. After he passed away we reflected on that moment when she created this picture and how much she wanted to him to get better.
I know Jason’s Grandfather would agree with the poem Jason’s Grandmother held onto for so many years after his mother’s passing:
Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on the snow.
I am the sunlight on the ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the mornings hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.
So through this time of mourning, we must remember to also celebrate his life, for it is one we have all loved. We can all only imagine how happy he is as he’s likely still somewhere safe fishing. More importantly we should all remember that now Jason’s mother has her father with her – and I’m sure they’re looking down on us all proudly.
Always remember, “It is foolish to mourn those who have died, Rather we should thank God that they have lived.”
We’d love to hear your favorite memories of Grandpa Bristow.