I will rejoice and be glad in it.
Most of me can't believe it's been a year since my father-in-law, who my daughter adores and calls Granddaddy, passed away unexpectedly. But part of me recognizes that a lot has happened in this past year. One thing is for certain: Gary Taylor is missed here on earth, in our family and in the larger community. But nobody doubts the completion that occurred on April 6, 2010, when Gary found eternal peace in the place Jesus has spent more than 2,000 years preparing for us.
Meanwhile, I've watched my mother-in-law become more courageous and more generous -- characteristics she already possessed yet have managed to grow even stronger.
My relationship with my sister-in-law Angela has strengthened and deepened.
I've talked to my almost 4-year-old daughter more times than I'm guessing I would otherwise about heaven, and Jesus, and death, and burying our earthly bodies and gaining eternal spiritual bodies. Today at the cemetery, I noticed her talking to Elijah and Ethne about how Granddaddy's body is buried there where we stood, but how his heart and soul are in heaven, where he got a new body and lives with Jesus. You can see, she even pointed. I love watching as her little heart tries to grasp these complex truths.
I understand the word legacy in a way I never comprehended before because I'm watching my husband continue building what Gary started.
Yes, Gary has missed being here when Ben became a toddler and Mae Rose was born. Cate has learned to write, Ethne has fallen in love with ballet and Elijah has matured. But I know their Granddaddy couldn't be prouder of the ways they love life and each other.
We gathered together today to remember this legacy. We saw the gravestone for the first time. And we prayed, giving thanks that even when life is hard, God is still faithful. There were laughs and tears, and energetic kids, but Gary wouldn't have changed a thing because he knew how to live life to the fullest.
I'm guessing he looked down and smiled, just as I did when I walked up and heard three little voices praying their own prayers about Grandddaddy and Gran-Gran. And I know for certain praying and living and believing are what he wants us to be doing. Today. And every other day.
More photos from our cemetery visit are in an album on Facebook.