Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Just a few days ago I arrived back to my home in BHC, AZ from an unexpected 1000+ mile motorcycle trip to Orange Co, CA. My Grandfather age 90 who was a bible carrying Christian the last 17 years of his life was on his death bed from repeated pneumonia due to old age but was an otherwise active man marked by the spirit of God. So after getting the call at 2:30 pm on the 10th I felt I needed to be there but was reluctant as it was late and would mean a cold ride at night. I thought I had decided to put off the trip until the next morning until I decided to pray about it and God spoke to me clearly that if I wanted to see him before he died I had to leave immediately and not to worry as Gods grace would be with me, very seldom do I get these kinds of strong answers in prayer so I started packing. Funny how fast you can get things done when God asked you compared to the normal half day contemplation and uncertainty. I had my motorcycle luggage packed and left in 20 minutes.
Even for AZ it was colder then I was accustom to riding so I wore sweats under one set of cloths including my armored riding jacket. Crossing the mountain passes I had to stop and put on another layer of clothing. The loose fitting hooded black sweatshirt my sister had bought me for Christmas suddenly seemed indispensable and worked great with the hood slipped inside my helmet keeping my head and ears warm in the 30 degree temperatures and high elevation. Once I dropped down into the LA basin the temperature was a much warmer 60 degrees and I had to stop and take off a layer of clothing and get final phone directions from my brother in law on the exact location of Carson Memorial Hospital.
Once at the hospital that same evening I had the opportunity to pray with my grandfather that God would either heal him so he could return home or be taken quickly to be reunited with his God and wife, a seemingly strange prayer for most people but my Grandfather although flawed was Godly man who’s personal life revolved around prayer and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ who he always acknowledged. He was awake and able follow along acknowledge prayers from myself and the Catholic priest who was called since his late wife was a devote catholic, clearly acknowledging he his belief in Christ, and ready either way to be healed or reunited with his wife in heaven. After each prayer or acknowledgment to family members he would slip out of consciousness until another family member called his name to say their goodbyes, which included myself, my mother, my sisters, and my daughter.
Originally we were concerned over the responsibility to have him medicated so his passing be easier without the possibility of pain and fighting for air as pneumonia can be a slow and agonizing death. However since the hospital staff noted that following our prayers he was in no pain or distress and apparently doing much better under the circumstances, we should postpone any special medication until a morning evaluation.
Early the next morning after it being determined by the doctors that he was doing much better according to the monitors and blood work, it was decided that no special medication was needed. Mid morning in the presence of my sister who had lived with him in his home for a number of years, suddenly between coherent waking and sleeping, suddenly stopped breathing and did not wake back up anymore and died. The doctors were bewildered but I have to say that as a family we knew exactly what had happened were very thankful and pleased with God’s answered prayer for such a peaceful and blessed passing of this 90 year old man.
The mood of the whole family was very good so after a family dinner at a local restaurant, the following day we celebrated at his home with a great day picnic barbecue and fresh avocado dip from his back yard tree. The whole ordeal had been touched by God so much through this man that it was impossible to morn his passing, as if he were there with us celebrating and being a great host.
What else can be said to sum up the legacy this man left for us to remember by his example, is that besides all the reasons we were put here on this earth, the most important is that we were made to worship God. Therefore I dedicate this song by Chris Tomlin in celebration of the legacy my Grandfather left us.