I am a product of a village. I could have had all the lessons, experiences, and adventures without the community who raised me. Some of my village is still present on this side, but many have gone on to be with the Lord. It is so hard to see the people who you always saw as strong warriors slowly slip away. The hardest ones for me were my grandparents. I lost three grandparents in just under four years. Two were during this same week in March, just different years. Today’s story is about my grandfather, affectionally known as Pop-Pop.
My mother and I went to visit him at the nursing home right before he passed away. He was in hospice, and he was no longer speaking. All I could hear was his labored breathing. We realized that someone turned his radio off, so we turned it back on to the gospel radio station, his favorite music. I remember sitting on his bed talking to him about anything and everything. Then, “The Battle Is The Lord’s” by Yolanda Adama came on. My grandfather held my hand a little tighter, and I got excited. I smiled and told my mom, “I think Pop-Pop hears it.” By the time Yolanda got to the chorus, Pop-Pop was moving my hand to the beat. I took everything within me not to cry because I knew he was aware of what was going on at that very moment. What was interesting was that was the only song he did that for. My mom and I had to leave a little bit later because of the nursing home hours. Less than 15 minutes after we arrived at our house, the nursing home called to tell us that my grandfather had passed right after we left. I honestly think Pop-Pop was just waiting until we left before he took his final breath.
For so many years, I could not hear “The Battle Is The Lord’s” without breaking into tears. It just reminded me of his death. Today, however, I listened to the song again, as if it was my first. I don’t know what was different this time, but I thank God. There still were many tears, but this was a different cry. I realized that Pop-Pop, who was always looking out for me and always enjoyed a good word, found a way to give me his last words. In the midst of everything that you may be going through–struggles, pain, questions, issues, and the list goes on–just remember the battle is not yours. Just continue to have faith and turn it over to God. So I will continue to hold on. I won’t give up.
I thank my grandfather for all of his good words that help build me into the woman that I am today. It will be nine years this week when this happened, but I just heard his “last words” today. You never know who, what, or when something will be used to help you.