Today, I’ll be at the visitation and tomorrow at the graduation celebration for my 93 year old grandfather who went home to be with the Lord Sunday. It’s been a bittersweet couple weeks as we prepared for him to leave us. The man has left an amazing legacy. He and my grandma were married 66 years. They had four children+ 1 in-law, 7 grandchildren + 7 grandchildren-in-laws, and 23 great-grandchildren. That’s a rich heritage because two people fell in love.
He was a man that I could watch God soften his heart overtime. He was a good grandpa when I was a child and only improved with time until he was an absolutely amazing great-grandpa. My siblings and I learned to play 10 point pitch and cribbage from him. My children learned to play train dominos and Phase 10 from him. In August when we stopped at the farm, he taught my then 8 and 11 year olds how to drive his golf cart and smiled as big as they did at their success.
It’s bittersweet to let him go. He lived a good life. A rich life. The hero in Canteen Dreams was based directly on my grandpa — shared his name even — because I wondered what it would feel like to be the only son of a farmer who was drafted repeatedly during World War II, but always sent home to work the farm. Then in Captive Dreams, the epilogue is taken directly from the most romantic thing my grandpa ever did several years ago at Christmas.
I’m so glad our family can say we don’t have any regrets. I pray that is the same for your family.