Wednesday, August 26, 2015

My Grandpa Died and I am Not Coming Home

This is the last picture with me and Grandpa and Nana !
I never thought I would be someone who lost a family member while on a
mission. Well, we can't have everything in life I suppose. On
Wednesday August 19th, Ron Dean passed away after almost two years
completely bedridden with a brain tumor. The funeral was held on the
22nd and I wasn't there. I chose to stay here in my mission.

Wednesday at 12 president Marston called Sister Hodge and I. We had
just finished moving and he wanted to see our new loft and how we were
getting along. Yeah right. No mission president simply wants to see
new living arrangements. We aren't stupid. I was scared at that point.
We met him at 1:30 at our loft. He came in and inspected our place
then sat down and told me to hold his hand. My stomach dropped and I
knew what was coming. He was very straightforward, and I love
straightforward people. "Sister Ginn, your grandpa passed away this
morning." I sobbed. And sobbed. And sobbed. I was shaking and sister
Marston just held me. I wasn't sobbing just for my grandpa. I was
sobbing for my aunts and uncles and my mom and dad and my nana and how
painful this was going to be for everyone and how I was not there to
help my family get through this. My companion handed me tissues and
president Marston took a tissue and dabbed my face with it. I love
this man. He is perfect and he knows everything. I am convinced he can
read minds. He knew exactly what to say to me. He was serious yet
light hearted and he made me laugh while I was blinded by tears. He
was there a good hour just consoling me. He was smiling the whole time
and the look in his eyes was that of a father. Or that of a
grandfather. He truly loves me and he was so sorry I was in pain.

I am still numb. It's like my grandpa is still at home eating whatever
my mom would make for him. I can't process him not being there right
now since he's been such a huge part of my life for almost two years.
President allowed me to call my parents, and I called my moms phone
and my dad answered. I broke down completely. I was a mess, and
hearing my dad try to soothe me calmed me down within five minutes. I
talked to my mom and I felt such a sense of love that I have not felt
in a while. I sobbed like a 2 year old because I needed that so much
at that moment. I felt so much better after talking to my family. I am
so far away and it is so comforting to know that I can still pick up a
phone and hear their voices, with presidents' permission.

On Thursday, the zone leaders were asking my companion what they could
do to cheer me up, so they decided to get me kfc since fried chicken
is the comfort food of the south. I did not suspect a thing and let me
tell you I was comforted by mashed potatoes, biscuits, and chicken. I
cried over the heavenly mana but they were tears of appreciation, I
think. I ate the entire chicken, bones and all like I normally do, and
they were rather impressed instead of grossed out. At least they knew
their money did not go to waste.

Friday I received a priesthood blessing from president Marston. I
started crying again, it was a great blessing and a great experience.
I felt kind of lost and just like a broken 19 year old who left her
family to come across the United States. Then president did something
I did not expect but was the greatest thing I have ever been given: he
gave me a hug. Two hugs, to be exact. They felt like hugs from my dad,
or my grandpa. It was a grandfather's hug and it was exactly what I

Saturday I was able to talk to my parents about the funeral. It was
great to hear them. It brings so much comfort for me to know they are
doing ok. This week I visited tons of members, but I spent a lot of
time pondering and thinking about my grandpa. I love my grandpa. That
is the conclusion I have come to. I am so emotionally spent and it is
hard for me right now to visit with a lot of people, so we take breaks
and go for walks or rest at the church where I play the piano.

I am here for a reason. I feel that the only reason I am not a total
mess is because so many people have been praying for me. I will not
lie to any of you, this is so hard. It was already hard being away
from my family. I feel such a comfort knowing how many people are
praying for me. Prayer is a real, sacred power, and I urge you all to
use it every day of your lives. God has a plan for everyone. He has a
plan for my grandpa. His time is done here, he is done suffering.

I love you all. You are all perfect in my eyes. I will personally hug
each one of you when I see you and squeeze you so hard you will stop
breathing for a few seconds.

Sister Ginn