Life Is Fantastic

His face was swollen. He looked like a potato head. He didn’t look like life. I thought he was going to die. It couldn’t be time for him to leave us yet. There was life yet to live.  Grandpa was in his 80s and he had just come out of quadruple bypass surgery. I ran outside and stood in the sidewalk right there at the hospital. I looked up into the sky and begged and pleaded with God not to take him.

When he was finally alert enough to talk with us, swollen and patched together, we asked him how he was doing. He just smiled and said, “Fantastic!” He lived until he was ninety

He was always fantastic. He was forever smiling. Forever making sure that our hearts were at rest, that our souls were filled and that our lives were full. He loved to dance. He loved to laugh and play games. He loved to worship and he loved the truth. The truth was, as long as he had breath, he was fantastic.

When he was so uncomfortable. When his mind slipped away. He was still fantastic. He prayed over the sickest oldest ones in the hospital. Anyone that crossed his path, he loved them.

He let his life be fantastic – always.

I’m a slow learner, but I’m catching on. I’m learning to answer, “Fantastic!” My life is full of health and comfort and food and shelter. My life is rain and wind and heat and cool.  I’m not escaping danger, we are not waiting on food, we are not hoping for help. We wake up and drink coffee and walk through the garden and tend the animals and eat eggs from our chickens. We read and learn and laugh and do music.

What I want to do better is reach out. Reach beyond the fantastic of my own world and move into loving and holding and helping. That’s how fantastic should look. If it is just something we hold tight, it is of no use.

Today, I’ve spent 45 minutes on hold, an hour with customer service employees, and an hour, at least redirecting and helping a three year old. The laundry isn’t done. The house is by no means in order, but what is more important is that I reach out beyond that and love the ones around me, directly and indirectly. Life is fantastic.


  1. Thank you for sharing those memories, Elisha!! Your grandpa was so precious, and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to have known him. In your description, I could see his smile and hear him say, "Fantastic!" Follow the example he left for you and you'll be right on track!

    Love you -

    (PS - Your little girl is beautiful!)

  2. I loved your grandpa, too! His cross jumping up and down as he danced during worship! A wise man!


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