Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Death, Life and Hope

A few weeks ago, my grandfather, Richard Jackson Felix, passed away. It wasn't completely unexpected, but it is still hard sometimes. He was definitely a fighter -- defying death several times in his life, actually. He was shot in World War II and earned himself a purple heart. He even was ran over by a cement truck. Ouch!

Despite these things, he recovered, and lived a full life. I always admired the relationship he had with my grandma. I could always tell how much fun they had together on all their traveling and they always seemed liked the best friends in the world to each other. I'm so glad I was able to have that influence in my life.

I was lucky enough to visit my grandpa in early July. It was a bit tough, as I knew it would probably be the last time I would see him, but I'm so, so glad I got to spend those precious hours with him, hug him, kiss him and let him know how much he is loved.

His death has made me again ponder how precious and brief life can be. No matter if it is only 38 weeks (as long as Jackson lived) or 85-plus years like my grandpa's life, it never seems long enough. We always want these people to be here with us longer. And when they are taken from us, it just seems unfair.

However, I have a little bit of hope for life. A little bit of hope for my life and the new precious life that is growing in me right now. I have three more months until I will hold this precious girl in my arms and hopefully hear her cry. Some days I feel like I know this will happen. That this little life will make it. But I don't take any of it for granted -- not one day, because each day is precious.

I recently finished a book titled "Holding on to Hope," by Nancy Guthrie. Nancy lost not one, but two babies to Zellweger Syndrome. I can't imagine going through something like this twice, but her book gave me comfort and hope. Her daughter, named Hope, inspired her to write the book. One thing really stuck with me -- that one of our responses to God should be gratitude, even during the times of suffering. "You see, Hope was a gift. And the appropriate response to a gift is gratitude."

How grateful I am for the gift of my grandpa and the 29 years I was lucky enough to have him here on Earth. How lucky am I that I can say I am Jackson's mom. No one else can say that. He was beautiful and perfect and I am so thankful for the time I got to know him while he was in my womb. And I feel so blessed knowing that I am falling in love again with my second child -- the same kind of love I feel for Jackson.

And so this does leave me with some hope. Hope that when my grandpa arrived in his heavenly home he was overjoyed to meet Jackson, and that Jackson now has another grandpa with him there (and thrilled to discover they share part of the same name!). Hope that this little life growing inside of me is here for a purpose, and will bring Brent and I an incredible joy I have yet to experience.

So please, be grateful for the ones you have with you now and the ones that may have passed on.

"But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God." (Psalm 50:23).

My last moments with my grandpa


  1. Rebecca, What a beautiful tribute to Grandpa! He was alwys proud of you, and would be proud to read what you have written. He loved when you went camping with Grandma and him, and when you were little, he was always looking for something to bring back to you from their travels. We all will miss him. Love, Mom

  2. Becca,
    What beautiful words! I know the angels in heaven are rejoicing for your Gpa's long life spent on this earth. I didn't realize Jackson was a family name? We are praying for all of you every day, & my new Bible Study Fellowship ladies will be praying, as well. We love you guys!!
    Aunt Krissy & all my boys:)