Celebrating A Life Well Lived

I know most of you can relate when I say there are times you look back on a year and see how God has been so faithful in the little things. For different reasons here and there, I’ll just go ahead and admit that 2013 has not been my favorite year. It has certainly had its rough patches and that’s okay. Not every year is a pep rally. Sometimes there are certain years that are amazing and you treasure those and keep doing life, then there are those that are just plain hard and still you keep doing life. The key is to keep moving forward with Jesus not matter what. Because one thing we can know is that each and every day is the day He has made, and we WILL rejoice and be glad in it, even if it involves tears, heartache, confusion and disappointment.

Two months ago you might remember that I blogged about my brief trip to Colorado to celebrate my Grandpa’s 86th birthday and my grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary. Before that, my grandparents spent Memorial Day weekend in Houston with us and before that, I spent Christmas in Colorado with my entire family. Only the Lord could have ordained all of that time together because last week, we said goodbye to my sweet Grandpa. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer right around Labor Day, and three weeks later, on September 26th, he met Jesus. It was fast and furious, but knowing how incredibly sick and in pain he was, we’re all so grateful he’s no longer suffering.

I realized recently that not everyone gets to experience the blessing of grandparent’s like I have. Distance didn’t mean a thing to my grandparent’s. They were so faithful and never missed a beat or a birthday in our lives. Always involved, always healthy and thriving, which is what made the last month so hard. I’ve been quiet about all of it, but mainly because I can’t talk about it without a big lump in my throat or crocodile tears on my face.

We celebrated his life together last week in Colorado with hundreds of family and friends gathered and honored his long and very blessed life that ended with a 21-gun salute to his service in the military, and the flag presentation to my grandma, which is incredibly moving.

(Can I just pause and say a big THANK YOU to those of you that sacrifice your husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles, grandpas, mothers, sisters, wives, aunts and so on and so forth to the military? Thank you is lame, I know, but I mean it. It is no small feat, and no small sacrifice. We appreciate them more than we can say. I hope you know that and feel that today if you are in that situation.)

My Grandpa is so deeply missed by all of us, but now I can brag about what blessing he was to literally everyone that knew him. Every morning last week I woke up at my grandparent’s house expecting to be greeted by his huge grin, kiss on the cheek and a, “Good morning my Lindselpie! What do you want this morning?” and then he’d list off every breakfast option imaginable.

I don’t know if it’s possible, but I fell in love with my family all over again last week. We got to do so many things Grandpa loved to do, like work on the puzzle he had been working on during his last weeks, laugh at thousands (and I do mean thousands) of pictures, re-tell his old (and sometimes inappropriate) jokes, take a visit to the mountains to visit the old cabin he built and they used to live in and eat his favorite foods, among many other things.

Sad? Yes. Despairing? No. We know we will see him again one day. Hard? Absolutely. But blessed in the midst of it all? Without a doubt.

So, if the blog has seemed a bit quiet, you’re not imagining things. In the middle of tweeting, blogging, facebook, Instagram, snapchat, and all things social media, real life happens. To all of us. I’ve learned that when real life happens, sometimes nothing is the right thing to say, and other times when real life you happens, you just have nothing to say. If you’re in the thick of it right now, and if you feel like you’re barely keeping your head above water today, I pray you feel God’s nearness. I know many of you are in storms that are unbearable. For that, know that every tear that falls on your pillow (and we all know those pillow tears, don’t we?) I have a deep compassion for you. But when we know God is near and in control, it makes life a little more bearable. Amen?

But just like I was reminded last week, it’s much more exciting to live life as opposed to making up things to write or tweet about. Can I get an amen? And my Grandpa lived life to the fullest. I could go on and on about him, but I won’t, lest I bore each of you to death. Let’s live a little life this week, in the midst of chaos, blessing, sadness, and joyful occasions, let us express our hope in Jesus and live. Because where there is hope, there is life.

I thought about not sharing any pictures with you all, but that just felt wrong. So, I’ll share a few of my favorites pictures and memories from this last week that we got to smile over.

One thing I want you to notice is my Grandpa’s pocket protector in each picture. He OWNED that pocket protector and wore it literally my entire life. Can you say fashionista? Laughing.

I can honestly tell you that Grandpa never withheld one ounce of love. He loved so well.

I just thought this was fun. We were looking through some books and found this picture of Grandpa during the Korean war. “Nothing like an early morning shave with cold water out in the open.” (That is something I cannot relate to. Grin.)

This was just two months ago celebrating my grandparent’s 60th anniversary. Such a treasure right here in this picture.

Me and Grandpa and couple of years ago. Again, notice the pocket protector and pens. I hope it makes you smile as much as me. (Side note: He wrote EVERYTHING down, everyday. From sun-up to sun-down. That was fun to look back on.)

I am sure this sight is familiar to many of you. To you, I say thank you so, so much and I am so,so sorry. But what better way to honor our military troops and veterans? So moving. So incredibly special.

In his free time, my Grandpa worked on puzzles of all kinds. Jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles and just plain old puzzles. This is the last one he was working on and this was as far as he got. We used to work on them with him, so you better believe we picked up where he left off and in all our might, tried to finish this one, but alas, did not. Too little time and WAY too hard. But it was a good memory to relive despite his absence.

We got one day last week to just be, so we headed up the mountain to visit my grandparents’ old cabin where they used to live. Right next to this lake where we used to fish all the time. (My Grandpa was the fisherman of fisherman.) Three of us may or may not have been wearing some of Grandpa’s old coats as we were not prepared for the cold weather. (Another side note: My Grandpa built every house he lived in, except the last two.)

The view right outside their cabin. A little Autumn snow had just fallen. It was chilly, crisp, breezy and beautiful.

I came home Sunday evening to this stunning sunset. We were driving out of the airport when my dad pulled over so I could get out of the car and take this pictures. It took my breath away. This was THE best welcome home banner ever. All I kept saying was, “Jesus loves me, this I know.”

After that sunset, we kept driving and then this happened. As if the first sight wasn’t enough. THIS? Unreal, y’all. And we watched plane after plane take off into that sunset. To say I was obsessed is a slight understatement. My dad didn’t pull over so I could take this, but apparently that didn’t matter. A moving car couldn’t even ruin this picture.

I don’t know about you, but it’s little things like that, a welcome home sunset, that remind me how faithful God is. That He sees. He cares. And He goes before you and me. I needed that. And maybe you do, too. He is so worthy of our faith and our trust.

And all the people said amen.


110 Responses to “Celebrating A Life Well Lived”

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  1. 51
    Annette says:

    I’m so sorry for your sadness.
    My precious daddy died August 18. Daddy had lived with us over 11 years for me to care for him. Daddy and I were very very close. He was my friend, prayer partner, confidant, mentor, teacher, hero. I miss him every moment of the day. About 2 weeks before he died (and without knowing his time on earth was short) I stood in the doorway of his bedroom with tears in my eyes and said, “daddy I’m going to miss you so much when you are gone.” Dad replied with a slight grin, “Annette, where I’m going you’re going there too.”

    • 51.1
      Lindsee says:

      That is so sweet and brought tears to my eyes, Annette. Praying a sweet presence of the Lord as you still grieve your deep loss.

  2. 52
    Cherilynn says:

    joining the teary ones!

    My Grampa died suddenly 31 Jan 2012 (the day before my husband had major knee surgery)

    Grampa had called me 2 weeks before excited about his new cellphone (the Jitterbug) that had my number programmed so he could call me whenever he wanted! (i am the oldest grandchild) He was also checking on my husband, who injured his knee in a fall.

    My Grampa never missed a day in prayer for his 2 children, 1 daughter in law, 6 grandchildren, 5 grand “spouses” and 13 great grand children!

    He is SO greatly missed, but he had such an amazing “Welcome Home” committee!!

    Today would have been his 96 birthday and I know he is having a better party than one we could give him!

    Lindsee, you and your family will be in my prayers as you adjust to life without your Grandpa

  3. 53
    Patti says:

    Such a moving testimony of a life well lived by a man who apparently loved very much gave his all. Thank you for sharing. I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  4. 54
    Sue Hines says:

    Beautiful tribute to your grandpa. Sounds like he had a life well lived and a well lived life! Blessings to you and your family.

  5. 55
    Alicia says:

    Oh Lindsee, this post hit home with me. There is so much wisdom here in your words that many people don’t yet or will never understand. I wish I lived in Texas too so I could be your friend and give you a giant hug today. I know it was hard for you to write this post and it will be hard, but still good to revisit places and memories where you’ve been with your grandfather, but I appreciate your words more than I can say. Thank you for writing them.

  6. 56
    Karen E says:


    I’m so sorry to hear of your special grandpa’s death! It sounds like you and your family spent some great time honoring him and his life. Losing people, even into Jesus’ arms, can be a long season of grief. My mom died in February. It’s hard, missing her.

    May God bless you with His comforting presence and peace!

  7. 57
    Patty Laramore Ada, OK says:

    Lindsee, thank you for chronicling such an intimate and emotional slice of your recent life (and you HAVE been missed). You have released much Holy Spirit ministering in this post. I have your lump in my throat! Beautiful tribute to your loving Grandpa and couldn’t help but chuckle at his pocketprotector/pens adornment with fond memories of my own Popo…uniquely the mark of a mighty generation, now sadly dwindling. May His Shalom Peace cover your every thought and memory in the immediacy of the heartbreak. But, God…separation for just a little while.

  8. 58
    Jennifer D says:

    Thank you for sharing the pictures and memories! A grandpa’s love is so special and unique! Whenever I watch a John Wayne movie I get a little teary, in my book the Duke came in second to my Grandpa!
    Praying that you find peace in your memories and time together!

  9. 59
    Patti Hayes says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Lindsee, and praying for God’s unfailing love to rest upon you and your family even as you trust in Him.
    Much love,

    PS: Few things are more moving or fitting than full military honors at the burial of your loved one. When Taps was played at my Daddy’s burial at the National cemetary here, I wanted to blow a kiss toward heaven and say, “Goodnight, Daddy, I’ll see you in the morning.” Praying for you as you continue doing life while we all wait for morning.

  10. 60
    Pam Mayer says:


  11. 61
    Sheryl Potts says:

    Thanks for sharing real life with us. You were and are blessed! Loved the pictures!

  12. 62
    Alisa in Cheraw, SC says:

    This was the most comforting post . . . thank you for taking the time to write this. When you spoke about storms, you nailed it! I’ve been weathering a good one for about three weeks now. May God help me. God bless you and your family as you begin your healing process. I lost my father in May. And although I know he is with the LORD, I so miss my Daddy. He is the ONLY man I’ve ever known to live like Jesus – he was simple, a servant, and he lived like every day was his last. And I believe there is no other person on the face of this earth that LOVED ME like he did.

    Blessings and thank you!! This heart needed some tending today . . .

  13. 63
    Sarah in Alaska says:

    Lindsee! I am rejoicing for you when I think of your being able to see your loved one again in heaven. What a comfort. Thanks for sharing life!

  14. 64
    Holly Smith says:

    Oh dear Lindsee, I am so sorry. In the midst of your days, as you remember, take time to write down what your remember. One day you will want to share him with your children (yes, I said it and yes, I believe it and YES, I and praying for it!). Write it all down and let the memories wash precious joy and thankfulness over and over your life.

    My Chris’ dad is 86 and in surgery right now in Marshall (Colon issues). He has been needing transfusions almost weekly right now. So we are preparing our hearts for his homegoing. But you know? Last week, Chris spent the weekend with his people there around his mom and dad’s dining room table, and they talked about the will and all the final preps for his mom and dad’s funeral one day. And they joked and cut up and laughed their heads off! They just are odd that way. I think it is the joy of the Lord.

    Sure do LOVE you!

    • 64.1
      Lindsee says:

      I sure do you love you too, Holly. Your words are so sweet. And yes, I WILL write it all down because I’ll certainly claim that today. Much love to you and yours as you walk through an uncertain road right now!

  15. 65
    Denise says:

    Lindsee, I’m so sorry for your family’s loss, but thank you for sharing your grandpa with us. He sounds like a marvelous man for sure. Thank you for sharing the pictures too and the reminder of how we need to see God in the little things too, because He IS always there! God bless you and your family!

  16. 66

    Lindsey, sweet post. I’m so sorry. I have lost my grandpa and lost my grandmother in February. It hurts so. I miss my grandma especially and wish I could comb her hair one more time, wash her hair with her protesting one more time, etc. Look what I captured with my camera yesterday … extraordinary to me … http://shellilittleton.blogspot.com/2013/10/coming-up-roses.html

    Love you!

    • 66.1
      Lindsee says:

      Shelli! Those pictures are awesome. Thank you for sharing! There is nothing quite like a sunrise or sunset. Much love!

      • Lindsee, so sweet of you to take the time to look. I was shocked when I saw the flower-like pinks coming from the sun … just the way the light came through the camera, but I thought it was so pretty.

        I played Kari Jobe’s song “The More I Seek You” at my grandmother’s funeral … every time I hear it now, I sob. I miss her. She was my godly heritage, my greatest supporter. Loved her so.

      • And Lindsee … I hope you received your book. You were a sweet encouragement to me regarding it.

        • Lindsee says:

          Shelli! YES! I did receive your book. Thank you SO much! You were so thoughtful. I pray God uses your faithfulness to bear MUCH fruit, in Jesus’ name.

  17. 67
    Abby Robinson says:

    Thank you so much for that. And I am so sorry about your grandpa, but praise the Lord he’s in a better place! Yesterday I was out at my old house in the woods. My old house got burnt down over the summer and what you said really helped. As I was sitting there in God’s creation I was reminded of His goodness and power. Thank you so much for being so encouraging even in tough times. I’m praying for you and your family!

    • 67.1
      Lindsee says:

      Oh, Abbey! It is no small thing to lose a house. I am so, so sorry. Praying God redeems and rebuilds like only He can.

  18. 68
    christina says:

    Lindsee, I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. A loving grandfather is a treasure. My last living grandparent moved out of her home for the last 51 years into an assisted living residence. It’s very nice, and she sounds very happy on the phone, but I cried all day after I got the news. Reading your thoughts about waking up every morning expecting to hear his voice saying what he always said to you, it registers that when my grandmother passes away, no one will be left to call me Tina Bird, her special name for me. Love really is in the little things, for people as well as God.

    And God’s “little things” for me in a challenging week include this morning’s sunrise and snapping photos of the monarchs migrating through our back garden on their way to Mexico. I’m slightly obsessed with photos of those two things, too. 🙂

    May the Lord pour out much grace on the rest of your 2013 and make it a better year than it looks right now. He redeems!

  19. 69
    Mary G. says:

    Dear Lindsee.
    Praying for you as your grieve. Grandparents are such special people in our lives. I’m sorry you’ve had to say good-bye to someone so dear to your heart. I hope you know how dear you are to ours. I know you can’t feel us hugging you as we would like, but I hope you can feel the prayers. Love, Mary

  20. 70
    Carmela says:


    Thank you for sharing your story. So sorry for your loss. So happy you had such an incredible man in your life.

    Your story hit home. We lost my dad the same way; diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and gone from his earthly body within three weeks. He too was larger than life and left a big hole in our lives. We too are anxious for the day to be reunited with him.

    I’m 47, but I still leave big crocodile tears on my pillow because I was a daddy’s girl. It is an odd thing to grieve and be joyous at the same time.

    God bless you! Again, thank you for touching our lives with your openness and honesty.



  21. 71
    Leah Brannon says:

    Thank you for sharing this truth. I am so sorry about the loss of your Grandpa. I have walked where you walk and know the pain of losing loving grandparents.
    As far as weathering a storm: I come from a very close-knit family – immediate and extended family – and we lost one of my 18-year-old cousins very suddenly in a car accident. He passed away on August 11th and I can relate to the “pillow tears” as there have been MANY!
    I keep telling people that I don’t know how folks make it through these intense storms without the Lord and the hope that He gives of eternal life in heaven.
    Praying for you, Lindsee!!

    Leah from Georgia

    • 71.1
      Lindsee says:

      Amen, Leah! Though I know plenty that do, I don’t know how people walk through life without Jesus. I am so sorry about the loss of your cousin. So tragic. Bless you and your family.

  22. 72
    Sharon J. says:

    Miss Lindsee
    So sad for your loss! It hurts because you were loved so well! Thank you for sharing your heart. Granparents are those irreplaceable people who love us no matter what. I remember when my grandma died, she loved me like no one else. Looking forward to that reunion one day!!
    You are loved Lindselpie!
    You are a blessing to me. Cherish those memories and keep writing them down. You’ll want to tell your babies about that great man.
    Praying for you and your family

  23. 73
    janalese says:

    Such a beautiful tribute to your Grandpa. He was such a blessing in you and your families life. The picture of the unfinished puzzle got me. He sure knew how to entertain himself and loved like crazy. You are blessed to have such loving memories. I thought about my sweet Daddy, whom I lost 2 Christmas’s ago. He loved to put puzzles together as a family and then make a frame for the beautiful scenic ones. Thanks for sharing your heart and family with us.

  24. 74
    Natashajk says:

    Sad? Yes. Despairing? No. We know we will see him again one day. Hard? Absolutely. But blessed in the midst of it all? Without a doubt.

    This is the line from your post that is sticking with me. Thank you for sharing about your sweet grandpa.

  25. 75
    Connie says:

    Lindsee, I smiled when I saw. the picture with the paneling. It looked liked my house growing up!What a sweet picture with your grandpa.I rejoice that I will see my mom&dad and for my children their grandparent’s again!What a awesome day when we will be united with our loved ones! Praying the God of all comfort surrounds you with is loving arms.

  26. 76
    Colette says:

    This is just beautiful Lindsee! Thank you for sharing! 🙂
    ( writing this through tears! Happy AND sad tears!)

  27. 77
    Delanie says:

    Lindsee, I’m just now catching up on blog reading. So sorry to hear about your beloved grandpa. What an inspiring tribute to your grandpa.

    I also love your randomness.

    Thinking of you today, weeks after you wrote this, but none the less thinking and praying for you.

  28. 78
    Jana says:

    Thank you for sharing about your grandpa and I am so sorry for your loss. My family lost my sweet aunt and my grandpa within two weeks about 3 years ago. It about broke our hearts, but what joy we have knowing they are with Jesus. I don’t know how people get through those times without the hope of Heaven.
    Blessings to you and your family as you learn your new normal.

  29. 79
    Deborah Mott says:

    Thanks for sharing your joys and sorrow. Thank you for being a neat person that brings forth the precious reality of faith life in variety of ways…in loss and in gain, in writing and expressing, in recounting and remembering…. Reminded to live is Christ and to die is gain. Your grandpa did both well it sounds like. What a treasured gift to have a loving patriarch as a grandpa!
    Hope you take time to grieve and allow yourself the reflections that will make your life more full, alive with CHRIST and a gain to the world. You are off to a grand start in sharing as you have. Thanks. In His Compassion that never fail, Deb

  30. 80
    Teresa HIll says:

    Thank you for sharing from your heart about your sweet grandpa. Your pictures and thoughts brought me to tears. You are blessed to have experienced a wonderful relationship with your grandpa. This is not the end…only the beginning. Jesus loves me this I know. God Bless.

  31. 81
    katiegfromtennessee says:

    Lindsee, your description of your grandfather made me smile because my grandfather on my mother’s side of the family used to wear pocket protectors also. He would have them stuffed plum full of pens of all kinds and I vividly remember that every time I got to visit my grandparents growing up I would ask him about his pocket full of pens and he would let me take them all out and rearrange them-I know, fun stuff, right? He also had the warmest smile:) I love those good memories, and I’m glad you also have such great memories of your grandfather.

  32. 82

    I am so sorry Lindsee. I love you sweet young lady and appreciate the encouragement you share even in your sorrow. (((hug)))

  33. 83
    Kim Reece says:

    So sorry for your loss! Thanks for sharing your great memories!

  34. 84
    Melany says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your grandfather’s life! I’m so glad he’s doing better now but am sad for your family’s loss. It’s great that you got to spend time with him fairly recently and have so many great memories of him!

  35. 85
    Beth P says:

    What a wonderful post! My Granddaddy died on 12/7/86 and missing him sometimes still takes my breath away and brings tears, but I know I will see him again. He didn’t have a pocket protector, but he did write down everything he did in his yard every day. He only had a 6th grade education, but never stopped learning, doing & loving in his quiet way. Thank you for this post. We who have/had wonderful grandparents are truly blessed. Blessings to you and your family in the coming days/weeks/months.

  36. 86
    Melissa says:

    Lindsee, thanks for sharing. This is a precious post. Thank you for being vulnerable. Life is hard and losing the people we love is one of the hardest challenges we go through. Praying for you. You are so lovely; you keep looking UP when life is hard; easier to say than to do.

  37. 87
    Valerie says:

    What a sweet tribute to your grandfather & what precious memories you have to treasure. Keeping you and your family in my prayers. <3

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