Joy unexpected, even here

Categorized as Rhonda's Posts

One by one, 18 children in those 5 separate homes stumble down, bleary eyed, to the news: “It’s grandpa. He died in the night.”

What a day.

At our house, stunned silence. Expressions of shock. Quiet listening as we tell them the story.

“Unexpected.” That’s what Little says, brain spinning, thoughts whirling. He’s trying with all might just to grasp it.


Yes, it was true. We hadn’t expected to be doing all this. Hadn’t planned to be planning the end. Not a funeral.

But we were and we did, and the love, it came pouring. And together, we celebrated life. E’en in death.

If grief’s unexpected, then joy can be, too. It’s the joy (so He’s said) that’s our strength.Yes, it is.

For at a time unexpected, in a place that was, too, quiet joy birthed a sweet consolation. At a gravesite.

There they came, six young men, backs straight, faces sober. Arms lifting, legs strong in black pants. There they came.

Hearts soft, muscles hardening, those strong, handsome boys. To a man, they all carried his name.

Six grandsons.

In a last act of love for their own Grandpa Schrock, those boys bore his body to its rest, laid him down. With dignity and strength, young carried the old and, backs bending, they tucked him sweet in.


Ah, yes. The joy that came stealing, rain dripping on tent, was something I hadn’t expected. To watch next generation sweet-honoring another–Gilead’s balm. It was love’s final crowning.

It’s been almost two weeks since we said our goodbyes, and several things have come to my mind. First of all, whether one’s end is expected or it strikes from the blue, being ready is what’s most important.Free to die.

Secondly, a truth-whisper to comfort the heart. That in heaven, relationships will be perfect. Free to love.

Lastly, it’s a blessing to die in the Lord. To be tucked ‘neath earth’s blanket, expectant. Free to hope.

For all of you who’ve prayed. Who sent cards. Who came calling. For those who shared memories of Merle, we say thank you. Your prayers uplifted. Your food, it strengthened. And your love brought great comfort to us all. Sincerely…

FacebookTwitterGoogle+DiggPinterestBloggerThree of these are ours, three others are nephews, but all bear His name, and his, too (Grandpa Schrock). 

FacebookTwitterGoogle+DiggPinterestBloggerAdding additional poignancy to a solemn occasion was this–that his best two friends, they helped. Oh, they did. (Mark and Rick, you, too, have our love.)

FacebookTwitterGoogle+DiggPinterestBloggerWhile not all cultures or religions practice this, I find the covering of the grave to be deep in meaning and rich in significance. Such love, such respect, such sweet mercy. Buried in hope to await that great day.

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