Life, death and hope


Padkos South Africa Free State Potchefstroom Bultfontein Hoopstad mielie plaas N9 N12

The Subsidiary road network in South Africa is amazing. Padkos used to be very vogue when I was a kid. Our family is a bit retro. Click image to link to source.

My Gran died on Sunday evening; it was kind of sudden; I thought she’d live forever.

She was the kind of granny who still worked; a dog trainer. When her bakkie broke down (which was frequent as she wasn’t wealthy and maintenance costs are high) she’d jog to the training grounds; sometimes 5km’s there and 5km’s back. She puffed through a pack a day. She played bowls. She’d been twice married and twice widowed. She was a Methodist. She loved birds and dogs and gardening. Her daughters look just like her and when she told me she loved me the day before she passed I was moved to tears. She was hard in ways and soft in others.

So today Liezl, the kids and I are trekking across the country to attend her funeral. Now we’re not a National Road family and decided to take the road less travelled, Potchefstroom, Bultfontein, Hoopstad and a couple of other one horse towns winding through the mielie farmlands of the Free State.

My wife loving took my cell phone away so I could focus on the family. We argued about my backseat driving habits, we laughed about the politicians on the radio, we ate breakfast, lunch and padkos on the side of the road, we chatted to the kids and listened to some Disney classics. We saw a man-sized eagle. It was therapeutic.

Padkos South Africa Free State Potchefstroom Bultfontein Hoopstad mielie plaas N9 N12

We hit the N12 and then crossed through to the N9. If you’re heading to South Africa for the World Cup take a turn of the main highways and byways. The country is alive with possibilities. Click image to link to source.

Around Springfontein Liezl noticed Kaitlyn crying.

“What’s up love?”

“I miss Granny.”

“That’s OK honey, we all do, grab some tissue paper and blow your nose.”

Truth is I know there are different ways to grieve, and it’s not like I’ve not shed a tear or two myself, but I like the way our family expresses it’s grieve. We mourn, but not as one given over to defeat. We’ll cry, we’ll grieve, we might weep but we do not despair, we do not wail, we do not spiral into utter hopelessness. We have a hope.

Consider Paul’s words to the Thesolonians,

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Want to hear the verse in context? 1 Thessalonians 4
What is this about?

Gran. Click the image to enlarge.

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