Monday, June 18, 2012

Until they're gone.

You may or may not know that I lost my grandfather.  I mentioned him in my Thanksgiving post  this year (sorry... all the pictures have somehow bitten the dust), talking briefly about the kind of legacy he left for our family.  What you probably don't know is that my eldest cousin and I spent a decent amount of time stepping into his shoes and composing the sermonette for our family's Thanksgiving service, focusing entirely on the kind of legacy we want to leave, based on his example.

Today, my uncle posted links to what I think was my grandfather's last sermon, and I'd like to share it with you.  If you aren't sure if you should watch it, I will list all my reasons as to why you should below it.

First and foremost, my grandfather was a man of G-d, unwavering in his faith.

My grandfather was such an outstanding man that I'm still seeing messages from people I have never before met, telling me how he touched their lives, sometimes even saving them, which amazes me, since it was never his personal intention to enter the ministry; that was entirely G-d's doing.

My grandfather was our gentle patriarch.  He didn't fit the demanding description that word entails, and, quite honestly, my grandmother fit the bill of "running the house," but my grandfather was, without a doubt, our spiritual head.  Without him, I often feel like I'm floundering out in the seas of faith.

I want to reprint for you what I published on Facebook, shortly after his death:

I remember when Sarah asked you who your favorite grandkid was, and you responded that it was her.  (I thought Mom-mom was going to hit you.)  But then you clarified, "Whichever grandkid is on my lap is my favorite."  Of course, we all scrambled to be on your lap then - I'm sure you planned it that way.

I remember getting up to sing whenever we were at your church.  You'd always cringe when we'd start playing with the communion railing.  That made us want to do it all the more, by the way.  But I'm glad we got to sing; it always made you so happy - we could tell, even then.

I remember playing with marbles on your living room floor.  You always complained that someone was going to fall and get hurt.  I'm sure you meant it, but, now, I'm also sure that you were secretly glad that we wanted to be at your house - even if it was because you had all the marbles.

I remember all the Fourth of July's at your house.  (I never did understand why you didn't want to go see the fireworks.)  I remember how all of the grandkids would spend the day of trying to build a "chair swing" in the old tree out back.  We were convinced you knew how to do it but weren't about to tell us.  You clearly wanted to keep the knowledge to yourself. ;)

I remember wanting desperately to play with the typewriter in your office.  I think it was only one time that you let me.  When I finally got the chance, I was so excited, but I had never decided what I would write if the opportunity presented itself, so I just wrote, "I love you Pop-pop!"  And then, in order to make it to the next line and hear it ding, I wrote "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa."  :)

I remember being on a road trip with you and Mom-mom, and you convinced me that it was okay to have ice cream for dinner.  I still am okay with claiming that to this day.

I remember the time you were taking me to an evening service at church and you hit a deer with your car.  Listening to your response to the people who yelled at you for it was classic: "YOU JUST HIT A DEER!"  "Yes, I know!" and then you muttered, "obviously."

I remember cramming into your room at Thanksgiving at Willow Valley for our worship service.  You'd lead us through hymns, and by "lead" I mean that you would barely have the title of it out of your mouth before you'd boom out the first line of the song.  Sometimes it annoyed me, but now I look back on it and smile.

I also remember you watching football on Thanksgiving after we ate.  I always have wondered why... you would fall asleep as soon as you turned it on, but oh, if we changed the channel, you most certainly would wake up and put it back.

I remember when I found out you were sick.  I was at my other grandmother's house.  I cried all night.

I remember when we spent the afternoon in your kitchen.  You told every story of your life that I've heard before, and added some more to the cannon.  The meant so much to me.  You told me over and over how glad you were that I listened, but I'm not sure that you ever realized that it meant just as much to me that you trusted me with them.

I remember the last time I saw you - you looked so different.  Your voice was so much quieter, but your words will always ring loudly in my ear until I see you again.  "I love you so so much," you said.  I don't think anything will ever mean as much to me as that did.  I love you so so much too, Pop-pop.

I still love you so, so much, Pop-pop.

Looking forward to seeing you again.

Blimey Cow photo-a-day 18. Messy - My face, stained with tears after finishing this post.

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