Over the past three and a half weeks, I’ve cried… a lot. No, I’m not depressed or mourning a loss. Not even close. Even now, as I’m beginning to write this, short sobs of celebration shake my body like an overly dramatic heartbeat.
My Grandpa Vischer journeyed home to be with Jesus a little over a year ago. He was a faithful man, and I was privileged to watch as he took his final breath at around 3 a.m. one morning in Hospice. While he was alive, Grandpa and I had a playful and ongoing argument about love at first sight. He argued that he loved my Grandma Vischer from the first time he laid eyes on her. I would wisely counter with, “You can’t love someone at first sight. You can only be attracted to them. Your love grows with time.” He would slowly shake his head and say, “Boy, oh boy, you young guys think you know it all.” Then, he would add with a mischievous Grandpa-ly grin, “When it happens to you, you’ll know.”
For nine years, Grandpa and I made this conversation a ritual that we’d repeat over dining room tables and in restaurant booths. I admired his love for my Grandma, but I couldn’t accept that any type of love could be born in an instant. I was convinced that he remembered falling in love with my grandma like most older people remember “the good ol’ days”- a romanticized version of what actually happened. Star crossed lovers and chick flick style romances make for a compelling movie script, but I knew you couldn’t love someone right away, or even in a couple of days. It takes time.
A few weeks ago, I called my parents to announce, “I’ve found THE ONE.” While wading through their slight disbelief, I told them how I met her and fell in love with her in one weekend. I can’t explain how, but when I saw her standing on the sidewalk in the small town of Wabash, IN, I loved her… at first sight. It wasn’t just a feeling. Everything inside of me “just knew.”
I won’t go into the details of the “who” or the “how” in this blog, but today, as I write this, “When it happens to you, you’ll know,” is the phrase that haunts me because it happened to me. I’m not sure how Grandpa knew it would, but as I replay that phrase in my mind, I sense that his mischievous grin displayed the fact that he knew something I didn’t know. Maybe God told him in one of his prayer times. I’m not sure.
Sometimes, for a few brief seconds, I think about calling you and telling you the good news. Then I realize… I can’t. Somehow though, I think you were listening in on the conversation between my parents and I, because after I told them the whole story, my dad paused and slowly reminded me that July 17 was the one year anniversary of your passing. His voice trembled with oncoming tears as he said, “The weekend that this all happened to you falls on the one year anniversary of your Grandpa’s homegoing.” We all cried…. I cried even harder when I later realized July 17th was the day I told Jo that I loved her …
“When it happens to you, you’ll know.” Grandpa, you were right. Love at first sight really does exist.
On Wednesday, August 10, I will be releasing a music video for “Grandpa’s Lake” that will honor my Grandpa Vischer’s memory and celebrate the legacy of love that he left his children and his children’s children. I love you , Grandpa.Grandpa’s Lake Wind ripples movin’ glass Little bugs on lilly pads One boy, one girl, and one canoe Small talk in the summer breeze Birds sing in the evergreens Two hearts, two lives, two points of view Let’s go to my grandpa’s lake again Drive over the dusty roads again Watch the sunset over the hills one more time Let’s chill on the floatin’ dock Throw a couple of skippin’ rocks And swim across the lake to the other side And go back to summer time Come cripple all my plans And make small castles in the sand Ask me to tell you the truth Sit close in the paddle boat Break the air with awkward notes Sha la la la, Kiss the girl Let’s go to my grandpa’s lake again Drive over the dusty roads again Watch the sunset over the hills one more time Let’s chill on the floatin’ dock Throw a couple of skippin’ rocks And swim across the lake to the other side And go back to summer time