The Son is always shining, regardless of the weather


Posted under Remembering Loved Ones, The Unexpected - Jun 1st, 11


Twenty years ago, my dear grandfather went to be with the LORD. He was my one and only grandfather when I was growing up, as my mom’s dad died before I was born. I really missed him, and I realized how blessed we were to have him around. He was a good man who could fix just about anything, which worked out well because he had some grandchildren who could break just about anything. He loved being on the porch and especially the garage. He loved having things neat, like his house, garage, and car. His specialty (as in what he did for fun) was painting walls and houses.

He had a twinkle in his eye that told you he loved you, even if he didn’t say it too often. He loved giving us “some sugar”, which is what he called a kiss on the cheek, and real sugar, too. I remember my mom telling us how he gave all four of us chocolates one Easter morning, right before church, and we (being the little chocolate-loving beasts that we were/are) devoured them. Let’s just say that our white Easter dresses took on a completely different look. Mom said that grandpa also took on a completely different look-one that was absolutely stunned by our demolition speed!

I remember feeling his whiskers on his face and, obviously, feeling comfortable enough to ask him personal questions. Once I asked him why his nose hairs were so long, and he didn’t get too mad at me. He had a good sense of humor, although he was a bit of a prankster. Countless times he warned me about hairy-legged boys, and often told my brother to eat (fill in blank) because it would put hair on his chest. Things did seem a little “hairy” at times, especially the time when we totally embarrassed him at a certain restaurant. As an unsuspecting woman ate at a neighboring booth, we (sly little children) put pieces of hamburger meat in her beautiful hair, which, ironically, was in a bun. He nearly died of embarrassment.

Many years later, Grandpa went to be with our LORD, yet it was so hard to believe that he was gone. I remember thinking it was just a bad dream and hoping that Grandpa would miraculously come back to life. I guess I just couldn’t imagine life without him. I especially remember watching classic movies with him in the summer and laughing along with “I Love Lucy”. There is something about Jimmy Stewart that still makes me think of Grandpa.

Paw Paw

Shortly after he died, I married BC and inherited another grandpa: BC’s sweet Paw Paw. We were blessed by him. Although he tried to fix lots of things, the family lovingly refers to some of his “fixes” as “Paw Paw-rigged”. He was very kind and easy to be around. His high voice and sweet character reminded us of the grandpa on the “Waltons” (played by Will Geer). One time, I felt so comfortable with him in the room, which was filled with only ladies, that I said, “It’s okay, we can talk about that. Paw Paw is just one of the girls!” And he was so tickled to be included. So, when God called him home in 1999, it sort of felt like losing my grandpa again.


Many years ago when G.G. remarried, we had another man that came into our lives that also took on the role of grandpa. Charles, or “G.P.”, could always make us smile. More importantly, he brought the smile back to my sweet grandma’s face. One of the things I love about G.P. is his life stories; they are very entertaining! I also admire his writing. We are blessed to still have G.P. and G.G. with us. (By the way, G.G. is doing so much better, and we can’t wait to see them this summer!)

Our Neighbor Bob

All three of these men desired to be helpful, and they were. Sometimes in life, you find a “grandpa-like” person right down your street. We were blessed to know and love a wonderful and helpful man named Bob. If I could give an award out to the “best neighbor ever”, he would probably win it. He was always kind and thoughtful to us, and not just us, but everyone in the neighborhood. He’d come by early to check on our family if BC’s car was parked out front on a school day…sometimes so early that I know I probably scared him with my “early morning look and attire”, but thankfully he never laughed at me. I know he noticed because he was a very observant man. As he helped us out when things would break (which happened more than once), he was a great example of a servant. He was like an emergency dad down the street. He helped my husband fix our cars, lawnmowers…multiple times. He had just about every tool made, and…he knew how to use them.

I remember one time he stayed up all night trying to figure out what was wrong with our riding lawn mower, and he actually found a solution! His mind’s wheels were constantly turning. That next day, he excitedly tried to explain to me the inner workings of the engine, but I have to admit, I was slightly confused. It’s not really my world; however, I admired his knowledge and listened. I loved his mindset, which was also present in our grandparents and their wise generation, that considered trying hard to fix a problem and find the answers. Sometimes, I have easily be tempted to say: “Well it’s broken, maybe we should just buy a new one!”, but Bob has encouraged me to try to fix things. A few days ago, I fixed the leak in the air mattress. I know BC has learned quite a lot from him, as he helped him with all things mechanical. He also helped us fix our washer and dryer and they even let us use their washer and dryer while we were in limbo.

They were truly wonderful neighbors. His spic and span garage was the place he loved to be, or maybe it was in the yard…by the tree. Speaking of trees, he was one of the neighbors who helped me plant the trees in our front yard. He planted many trees in his yard, too. A few years back, we were so sad to hear they might be moving, and then so glad to hear it was just around the corner. He always made us feel welcome in his home, and brought candy to our kids. One Thanksgiving, he brought over an extra turkey they had. They really were so generous. They gave us some nice furniture, too.

Bob loved to fish, and he loved to talk. He really didn’t keep it pithy, but he always wore a hat that read: “Keep it pithy” (which is an SAT word meaning: short and sweet!). When I saw him in the hospital, I asked him if he was keeping it pithy. He half-smiled and coughed as it was very difficult for him to speak. As he went to be with the Lord on May 22, I am happy that he is now pain-free and able to speak once again. Or will he even be able to find the words when he views our sweet Savior and heaven
(as the half has only been told). I’m pretty sure words will come, along with his charming smile.

When this former Navy man was nearing his last days, we know his “ship” did indeed come in. We also know that we have a Lord, Jesus Christ, who is the “Captain of our salvation”, and He called Bob home to the beautiful shores of heaven. Unfortunately, he went sailing out to sea, and his sweet wife, Barbara, is left waiting to meet him on that beautiful shore. They will be reunited someday. Below, I included a blue-grass song that we plan to sing at his memorial service. I’m pretty sure a Christian will see Jesus first (as I included the other song), but nevertheless, in our humanity…in our journey as husbands/wives and parents/children we surely know that love is strong and death can be quite difficult.

I am encouraged by G.G. and G.P. who made it when their spouses had to journey on. We are thankful that God in his mercy allowed us more time with them, even though we lost a dear loved one. Nana also has encouraged me. It did take some time to heal. Someone recently told me that the grieving process takes a month for every year you were married. I believe it! Please say a prayer for sweet Barbara and another dear neighbor, Margie, who also just recently lost her husband of 49 years, Pat. We went to Pat’s memorial last Saturday, May 21. We are singing at his graveside service today. In May 2011, these two dear neighbors went to heaven. They will be missed.\"Far Side Banks of Jordan\"

\"My Savior First Of All\"

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