|Grandpa and (baby!) Huy - three years ago|
Our sweet Grandpa, Treav's Mom's Dad, went to be with Jesus over a week ago. It is so hard to imagine life without him. He and his wife, who passed away earlier this year, were some of the most influential people in Treavor's life. I can remember Grandpa's quick wit and endless ream of stories. He was a hard, diligent worker and retired from CAT with a retirement plan that he had proudly earned through years and years of devotion to his company. He struggled with different ailments later in life, so when I became acquainted with him, my memories of him were of him sitting contentedly in the family room rather than tinkering around in the garage. By one look at his garage, it was clear that in his earlier years, he was always out fixing up something or doing something with his hands. He had more tools than I could count! I do remember the hilarious and oddly comforting sound of his many hand-held games as he played for hours in his favorite chair. Grandpa and Grandma were gamers. But, before you picture them shooting ducks on Nintendo or playing PS2, imagine a quiet morning first...
Grandma wakes early to prepare breakfast for her and Grandpa. Their house was always full of light, warm and clean. After breakfast was cleared from the table, they would play a few hours of board games. How sweet were these two, still happily in love, playing Rook, Dominoes and Peg. Grandpa would retire to the living room to watch sports or beat Solitaire on his hand-held game for the umpteenth time while Grandma set to work cleaning, making homemade noodles, pies or casseroles. Anytime we dropped by for a visit, we got the feeling like we were returning "home" again. Always welcome. Never a bother. Never a burden.
Grandpa was a great story-teller and also, importantly, a great listener. He was comforting, encouraging, and showed his faithful love to us time after time as he patiently listened to us and our children. After every meal, he would encourage his wife by telling us how much Grandma loved him through being the best wife she possibly could. She would grin and clear the table, offering up some of her delicious pie and trying to get the attention off of her. Their love for each other was apparant. And, their faith was as well.
Grandpa loved Jesus. His humility concerning his need for God every day was so refreshing. He knew that he had nothing if he didn't have Jesus, even if it did seem like had "everything" else a person needed. A comfortable home. A loving wife. Financial security. Friends and family that cared for him. But, at the end of the day, he knew, and proudly proclaimed, that the grace of God was what he needed.
Without God's grace, Grandpa's death would be hard to bear. But, with Jesus, we have tremendous hope. Hope to re-unite! Hope to see his face again when we meet in Heaven. In Jesus, we have that hope. Thank you, Lord.