Yesterday we buried my dear, sweet grandfather. He was a man of integrity, hard work, and fun. At 101, he was still flirting with the nurses at the hospital!
Imagine the changes that he has seen since his birth in 1916! Whenever I dare to feel sorry for myself, I snap back into reality when I remember his stories about hiring out to work as a field hand. After walking 7 miles to get to work, he toiled from sunrise to sunset for 25 cents, only to have to walk 7 miles back home again. How absolutely spoiled I am in comparison!
The last time I saw him, I took the picture below. I relish the intertwining of generations! Looking at the photo reminded me of something I had written for Papa 11 years ago and had given him in a frame for his 90th birthday. I think I will now need to add this picture to that frame. Reach out and hold the hand of a loved one tonight!
As we celebrate your 90th year of life I am overwhelmed by my love for you and amazed at all you have accomplished. I look at you and a flood of memories rushes through my mind, especially when I look at your hands. Your hands, though wrinkled and spotted from the sun, have served you and your loved ones well throughout your years.
Your hands have . . .
- Been cut and raw as they worked the fields and tended the livestock
- Held the hands of a young Wilma Roberts as you eloped that fateful night
- Held guns as you hunted endless hours in your beloved Mississippi backwoods
- Shaken a bit as you held your newborn daughter, who would become the joy of your life
- Sweat as you handed off your only child to her soon-to-be husband
- Walked me around the doorframe for countless hours just “one more time”
- Kept a mini-bike running long after it should have been, just to bring Greg hours of joy
- Gently fed and soothed Big Mama on her journey home
- Placed a flower in the casket of your only daughter
- Held Kathryn’s hands as you treasure your new life together
- Now held your great-grandson, Tanner, who brings joy and hope to us all
And these are the hands that God will someday reach out
and take as he leads you home!
I love you, Papa