The last few weeks have been such a blur. We went from receiving a phone call that Eric’s Grandpa was being taken to the hospital by ambulance, (after Grandma had already been taken in three times in three days) to this past weekend where we celebrated his life and the legacy that he has left behind. The days have been emotional for each one of us. We have cried because we miss Grandpa so much already. And we have laughed at all the wonderful memories that he left us with. We have rejoiced in the promise that because he chose to believe in Jesus, we know that we will one day see him again.
Instead of a Memorial Service, the family chose to do a “Celebration of Life” Service. The church was packed. And about 1/3 of us were family members. Grandpa and Grandma had 6 children, 14 grandchildren, and 24 great grandchildren. The lives they have impacted stretch far and wide. Take me for example. I am married into this family. I met Grandpa and Grandma the weekend that Eric and I got married. They flew out to North Carolina for our wedding. I remember Grandma saying “Welcome to the family!” Grandpa was thrilled to have a new person around who had not heard all of his jokes and stories. Like how to jump on or off a moving train. Or how he owed his life to Cream of Wheat. There were the tongue twisters and jokes. Unlike Eric who grew up in the same town as his grandparents, mine lived a thousand miles away. I rarely saw them growing up. So marrying into Eric’s family gave me a whole new aspect of family relationships. Every holiday is spent together at Grandpa and Grandma’s. We crowd into their small house and we eat and laugh and play. And then eat some more. Grandpa usually falls asleep in his chair with all the noise and commotion going on around him.
Now his chair his empty. But what he left behind is a legacy of love and laughter. A man who has taught each of his children to love Jesus with all their heart. And those children have taught their children who are teaching their children. Four generations later, the great grandchildren are being raised to believe in God and to live their life to the fullest serving Him. I am so thankful for the 12 years that I got to be a part of Grandpa’s life.
13 of the 24 Great Grandchildren
Making Funny Faces…
The Whole Family
Playing in the swing Grandpa made
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