Monday, June 13, 2011

Daddy's 84th Birthday

Today Daddy would have celebrated 84 years. Since he is no longer with us, we figured we'd celebrate anyway. Sarah invited us over for a full-blown dinner for lunch, complete with birthday cake. The kids insisted we sing and blow out a candle. They sang real loud so Grandpa could hear them in heaven.

In honor of this day, I thought I would share what my son, Josh, wrote for his grandfather's funeral:

Remembering Grandpa

The past week has seemed a bit surreal. Grandpa Jones is the first person close to me that I can remember to have passed away. It seems very odd knowing that his physical presence will not be around anymore. It is sad that he is no longer here. But, I am glad that he is no longer suffering and enduring life with a body that was failing him. Instead, he now is in the presence of His King and Lord. As I thought about him that Friday afternoon, I started singing the old hymn, "What a Day That Will Be."

Whenever I think back about being around Grandpa Jones, I am never saddened by the memories. I would like to share some of the things about Grandpa that were unique to him; things that he did before his body began to fail. I want to remember him the way my memories do; I want to remember the things that made Grandpa Grandpa...

I remember, when they lived up in Paradise, how he would always be up on the roof sweeping off the pine needles. There could not have been very many up there but, still, he went up and made sure that they never built up.

I remember many times taking vacations with him and Grandma in the old brownish orange Westfalia. We would drive for hours and he wouldn’t say a whole lot...he just drove. He got us to where we were going.

I remember how he always needed more oil...oil for the cars, for the lawn mower, or just to have some extra. Whenever Grandpa went to the store and he would disappear, you could bet that he would find us soon with a case of oil. That is just who he was.

I remember many nights as a child sleeping on the floor in his house when he would come home from work. His heavy footsteps notified all of us kids that Grandpa was home.

I remember how he always took care to maintain his responsibilities. Whether it was continually checking the oil in the cars, washing his vehicles, sweeping the pine needles, or going in to work everyday. He always made sure the paper goods were burned in a timely manner. Grandpa was a man...plain and simple.

You never had to prime Grandpa for the altar call, to come up for prayer. He was usually the first one to come up. And after he couldn’t get there anymore without difficulty his hand was the first one up. To those that didn’t know him, you may have thought that he must have major problems to always be coming up for prayer. He may have had things he dealt with but he knew that bringing them to Jesus would make the easier to bear.

It was his financial sowing into my life that made it possible for me to play the piano and, as a result, lead the church in worship. Without those many years of continued work I would not be gifted with the abilities I have today.

However, my best memories of Grandpa didn’t involve his chores or his quirky habits. You would often find him with his Bible or a book by Billy Graham. Never one of many words for men, he always had words for his God. I remember so many times walking by his room and seeing him knelt down in prayer. You could never make out the words but every so often he would cry out, “OH, JESUS!!” I can only imagine what he was praying about. The state of the world? Maybe. His grandkids? I am sure he brought our names before the King. And I would imagine that he prayed for Grandma and their marriage. But, I know, without a doubt, that most of the time he was praying for his own 4 children. His heart was always thinking about them. He wanted only the best that God had for each of them. And I have to believe that “the prayers of a righteous man avail much.”

What a Day That Will Be

There is coming a day when no heartaches shall come

No more clouds in the sky, no more tears to dim the eye

All is peace forevermore on that happy golden shore,

What a day, glorious day that will be.


What a day that will be

When my Jesus I shall see,

And I look upon His face,

The One who saved me by His grace;

When He takes me by the hand

And leads me through the Promised Land,

What a day, glorious day that will be.

There'll be no sorrow there, no more burdens to bear,

No more sickness, no pain, no more parting over there;

And forever I will be with the One who died for me,

What a day, glorious day that will be.

And now, Grandpa, you get to be with your Master. No one could ever doubt that you loved your Jesus. You have received the reward for your faithfulness. You no longer have to fight with your natural body that afflicted you for so long. You are now, finally, made perfect in Him.

Grandpa, thank you for all you did for this family. Thank you for always working, for always giving to God first, for always praying for us, and for establishing a firm foundation in Jesus. You have left a legacy that cannot be taken away from you. What you did in quiet service to Jesus will be amplified through the lives you leave behind. I love you, Grandpa...see you soon.

Josh, Serena, and the kids

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  1. That was so beautiful - thanks for sharing it! Family celebrations are the best!

  2. I LOVE it that they sang really loud so Grandpa could hear!


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