Grandpa’s Puzzling Question

Ok, so the whole posting once a week thing has been a major failure. However, I’m only two weeks behind so I’m going to rectify the situation and catch up and hopefully be back on schedule.

I started writing a lot about my Grandpa Schoenig towards the end of September last year. The end of September and the beginning of October are hard times for me when it comes to him because his birthday is 9/28 and he died 10/11. That’s only 13 days apart. It makes it a rough time of the year. But thinking about him, it always makes me happy and then sad because he’s not here, but mostly happy.

See, my Grandpa was in every essence of the word a grandpa. He was what I assume most people picture of a grandpa – old and creaky, but still a big teddy bear who cracks silly jokes and always had candy around. I was fortunate enough that I got to have my grandpa for all of my childhood and into my teen years.

I remember he used to ask me questions about god. I always felt awkward when he did especially since I never had any answers for him. I remember asking my mom why he only singled me out with these questions. My mom told me it was because I was Catholic so he figured I’d be the one to be able to discuss these things with him. But, I was like 14 and green about, well, pretty much everything, but especially god and religion.

The question I remember him asking almost every time I saw him was “If God knows everything, he knows all that is and all that will be, and a person is going to go to hell anyways, why does he let that person be born? Why not just send him straight to hell?” I never had an answer. He’d try to talk through it with me, but, like I said, my fourteen years on this earth had offered very little insight into the going-ons in god’s mind.

It wasn’t until years later while I was in college that I figured out an answer to his question. The way I see it, everyone is put on this earth for a purpose. It’s totally cliche, but I believe it’s true. Even if that person is going to hell, he still might have children, and one of those kids could end up curing cancer. Or if someone sees the mistakes that the hellbound guy makes, it could cause them to change their life and put them self on the right path. The person who may have been so bad that he was going to end up in hell is part of the great cosmic puzzle – take his piece out and the puzzle no longer hits together like it should.

And that’s my answer, all these years later. I don’t know how he’d feel about my relationship with the god he spent his life dedicated to or how he’d feel about his great grandbaby not being baptized. But, I’d like to think he’d at least like my answer to this question. He was a very important puzzle piece in my life (I like to picture his piece as bright blue with random smiley face stickers stuck to it), but he will only be a minor, outside piece to Ellabelle. My dad will get to be her big, important grandpa piece. However, his piece of the great puzzle is just as important to her as it is to me, even if she doesn’t realize it. He’s important. Everyone’s life is important. They all link together somehow. If god sent that piece right to hell, the puzzle wouldn’t fit, it wouldn’t be complete. The pieces have to fit together.


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