A year ago today I lost my Grandad to brain cancer.
There is nothing unique about this kind of loss. Loss is something we all experience. The loss of a grandparent, while painful, is part of growing up. Grief is a natural part of the experience of life. Yet, still the pain is profound and the pain is deep.
Today I wanted to celebrate him. In whatever small way I could – probably with the selfish motivation of finding little solace through honouring his legacy of love and strength. But I truly believe celebrating those who have inspired and moved us is at the heart of human existence.
On the front cover of his bible was this poem,
“Trust Him when doubts assail you,
Trust Him when your strength is small.
Trust Him, when to simply trust Him,
Is the hardest thing of all”
When I was in high-school I was quite unwell for a few years. Both my Grandad and my Nan would visit during the day to keep me company when I was home alone. I will always remember, when I was facing uncertainty as to whether I would finish my HSC, as he was leaving for the day he turned to me and said in his quiet way, “chin up, it will be okay”. That was how he lived his life, and – while I am not as good at it as him – how I endeavour to live mine.
This was a man who had faced so many of life’s struggles without a single breath of hostility or anger toward the unfairness of the hand he was dealt. Holding a gentle and humble strength he gave wholly of himself with no expectation of return. He believed in his family. And he loved unconditionally… He loved purely.
His legacy of love lives on in the hearts of all those who had the privilege of meeting him. The love, strength, hope and faith of my family is testament to this incredible man. A man who just simply lived, with humility, grace and above all profound love.
“Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” 1 Timothy 6:11
My Grandad, Peter Solomon, was a true gentleman. A true man of God. And the epitome of a life well lived.