Almost two weeks ago my grandfather passed away. He was 96! He lived a full life and blessed so many people in the years he spent on this earth. He had a love for laughter and he played a mean game of dominoes (which I was lucky enough to inherit) and cards.
He built the house he raised my father and aunt in with his bare hands.
He raised crops and cattle, leaving the earth in better shape than when he found it. He sent two children to college because he knew it was important for them. He worked until he was in his late 70's because he loved driving a tractor and being outside. He loved to travel and take the back roads and instilled that sense of exploration in my father and me as well.
Speaking of helping people, I pray someday I can do half the good he did in his lifetime. He didn't live in a big house or wear fancy clothes or drive a luxury car. But he had money to help those in need and, boy, did he. We learned at his service about him buying tires for the youth pastor at his church. We learned that he paid for someone's knee surgery. We learned about the church auditorium and garage that he funded and then built with his talents and energy.
We honored his last wishes this past weekend and it filled my heart with joy and hope. Joy because I was blessed to call him my grandfather and know him. Hope that I can carry on his legacy in a way that pleases him.
Thank you to everyone who extended condolences in our time of goodbye.