A Really Old Man

Every night, I pray for my family. I have a big family, and it takes a minute to get through all their names.

Last night was different.

“…Mom, Dad, Sarah, Casey, Kailey, Makenna, Baby E, Emily, Laura, Kyle, Grandma and Grandpa Lee, Grandma and…and. Just Grandma.”

My Grandpa passed away yesterday.

It’s weird. That’s probably not what normal people say about death.

Two months shy of their 73rd wedding anniversary. But he lived a long life. As they say. He was 93. That’s so super old. Can you imagine being that old? Ninety-three. When he was born, airplanes and cars had not been a thing for very long. And other interesting facts.

I’m trying to allow my mind a minute for any flashbacks that surface.

Like a flashback to my Grandpa’s creepy shed. When we were younger, I remember him taking us into the shed. He used to make tops. The things that spin. You know, tops. Nowadays, there is probably an app for that. But he made tops for us. And he let us spin them on the floor of his shed. I wish I had one somewhere.

Mostly I am just remembering his goofy, open-mouthed grin. He told a lot of jokes, and laughed at them.

Told. Made. All past tense, now.

I remember a story he told me about getting the farm animals drunk. That’s the punchline, and the details don’t matter. Farm animals. Drunk.

And there’s the story about how, as a member of the Air Force, he had to make his way to Pearl Harbor to help with the wreckage. He fixed airplanes. I think he made parts for planes, too. Like some kind of airplane genius. He was really proud to be in the military.

I have always said that I have the most interesting Grandparents of anyone. My Grandpa, who doesn’t [didn’t] even know how to send an e-mail, made DVDs for a hobby. Bizarre, sometimes incoherent, DVDs. My favorite one is his personal take on end times theology. If I remember correctly, he held up a piece of notebook paper with stick figures drawn on it to make his point. He also used his fist to demonstrate the earth turning upside down.

He and my Grandma adopted my Dad. Everything would be different if they hadn’t. Adoption is a picture of God’s love for us, you know. See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

There’s really nothing better to say about someone at the end of their life, than to say they taught you about God’s love. Not just with his words or stick figures, but with his life.

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