Thursday, May 29, 2014

Our Legacy

Hi all!  What an amazing weekend I had with my family! My Grandfather passed away February 28, of this year, and due to the crazy weather and my family being scattered throughout the United States, we decided to wait until Memorial Day weekend to hold his Celebration of Life.  The weather was perfect, the food fantastic, and the memories of my Grandpa precious.  I could not have asked for anything more than what we had. To hear and see so many people show up to celebrate with us was incredibly moving.  He was a stubborn, opinionated old coot, but well respected and liked by many.  Though not a compassionate man, you knew you were in trouble if he didn't comment on something you could have done differently. Criticism, though it didn't always feel constructive, was his way of letting you know he noticed what you had done. If he didn't offer that feedback, you had been snubbed.  A compliment was rare and if you got one it was like the brightest ray of sunshine you had ever seen and heard. As a little kid I was always kind of afraid of him.  As I grew older I realized how much knowledge he possessed.  The stories may have been repeated often- how many times can you hear about going west in the Model T with the family- but they were obviously treasured memories to him.  I'm so thankful my boys were able to hear the stories too. For several years, my boys have taken care of his yard while he was gone.  Sticks and leaves picked up and raked, mowing in the spring, summer and fall.  Help in the garden, either tilling or harvesting.  You name it, we helped and the boys loved it almost as much as he did.

More than anything my Grandparents taught me the importance of hard work.  He and Grandma had seven children.  I'm 11th of the 19 grandchildren.  You don't have seven kids and not have to work hard, especially on a farm coming out of the depression.  My dad was the youngest of the seven kids. His siblings make fun of him for being the baby and getting away with things they didn't.  It's funny to hear them give him grief even now in their 60's.

Grandpa's personality was one of quiet observation, blunt opinion, and boldly helping others.  His philosophy was to give to others when he had more than he needed. He was known to pick things in other's gardens and give that away as well.  He'd be sure to let the owner know someone else needed them more than they did.  He was often quiet.  Our society often does not know what to do when people are quiet.  It's awkward to be in a room with someone and not talk or have noise.  I grew up knowing quiet reflection.  It was not uncommon to sit in a room and not talk, not because we were rude or bored, but because it is ok to be still.  My Uncle David state it so eloquently on Sunday. Grandpa was a man who understood, practiced and taught us all the meaning of Psalm 46:10: Be still and know that I am God.  He knew how to be still and taught us all to be thankful for what we had.  For that I am ever grateful.


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