Today is my grandfathers birthday. He would have been 75. He passed into eternity a few days ago, and as I write this I only wish he could be alive to read the words and know how much he has meant, not just to me, but to everyone he came in contact with on a regular basis. It is so strange that someone has to die to make everyone around them realize what a great person they lost. It doesn't seem to make sense. Going through this the last few days has made me think about so much, I have experienced a ton of emotions and am brought to tears at the thought I will never hear his laugh or listen to his sense of humor anymore. I have also thought more about what it means to value the people in your life while you have them, love them a little deeper, hug them a little longer, look at them a few more times...because you really never know when one's time here is completed.
I mentioned he was a legacy not forgotten,and I mean that in so many ways. He was not just a good person, he was an exceptional man. I've known a lot of men, I was raised with one along with my mom, I grew up beside five of them (my two brothers and three dear brother friends next door), I have loved a couple and lost a couple, and now I am married to one; and I have to say that in looking at his life; he lived NOT like most men. I know he had flaws, no one is perfect: however, he was a man that rarely exists in one human being. He loved life, he adored his wife, he cherished his children, never criticized, sought hard after God, prayed daily for those who loved, and lived out what he believed, was gentle and kind, yet incredibly strong. He took joy in little things like caring for flowers, birds, and gardening, yet owned his own business for years as a hard working and dedicated husband and father.
I stood at his graveside and listened as so many that loved him shared their thoughts, their memories, the treasured moments they shared with this man while he walked this earth and it made me even deeper stunned that this man who I have known all my life was my very own and dear grandfather. His children and wife had not one thing negative to ever say of him, he walked with respect and treated everyone around him with respect as every decent human being should do. I thought to myself, what a life to live....where no one around you ever had anything negative to say about you or could ever remember one bad thought of him. That is the kind of life I want to live. I know he will never know this from me at this point, but I so deeply value and treasure all he has taught me even in his death.
He longed to see people around him be a better person, he prayed long hours for those he loved to come to a better understanding of what it meant to live a pure and righteous life. I know he prayed for me, and I am sure his love for his family and the prayers for those he loved were heard and are being answered even today.