I remember telling Him exactly how it needed to go. "First, take my grandfather. There's no way he can make once my grandmother dies, so he will need to go first. Then You can take my grandmother. And last take my mom. Later than sooner, please, but make sure she goes after her parents are gone."
This conversation with God took place about two years ago. I had it planned out perfectly and wanted Him to know how it should go.
Wonder if He chuckles at us when we do things like that? Or does he get preturbed? I like to think he chuckles, kind of like how I chuckle at my Madalyn when she is being stubborn.
Whether He chuckled or not, He already knew the way things would go, and He knew there was a different order to things outside of my desires. And He knew it would be the perfect order.
My grandmother was the first to go. It did break my grandfather's heart. Over and over again, actually. He had to be reminded from one day to the next that she was gone and wasn't coming back. Over time, he became more confused than ever, like a boy wandering in a snow covered field, unable to find landmarks or tracks to find his way home. The loss got easier as the days went by, as he grew more confused and less in touch of where he really was. His mind took him somewhere else, and he quit searching the halls for his wife.
Then my mother went. By the time she was gone, so was my grandfather's mind. I don't think he ever cognitively knew that his daughter had passed away. Family members danced around questions and changed the subject as frequently as needed to protect his heart.
And then he went. Reunited at last with his girls at Home.
Yesterday, I watched two Naval servicemen remove the American flag from atop my grandfather's casket. They stretched it taught between them, folded in careful precision. The soldier at my right formed a triangle, and he rolled it over, straightening it tight, using the bright white of his glove to smooth out any wrinkle or imperfection, folding it again and again from his end to meet with the other soldier. The serviceman to my left tucked in the edge of the flag perfectly. They each used their gloved hands to smooth it, check it's tightness, assure it was properly done. They each took their turn presenting it to one another, acknowledging it, saluting, and holding it tight to their chest. Then it was presented to my grandfather's namesake, his youngest child and son.
As I watched that flag that had begun as a large flat sheet covering the casket transform into a neat and tidy memory, I was reminded of God's perfect Will. He knows the order of things. He knows how to fold things up in perfect precision. And He presents it to us in His perfect timing, not ours.
And something deep inside my soul said, "It is well."