This past Sunday afternoon Kim, the kids and I made the nearly 12 hour trip (bottle, potty and leg-stretching stops included) from Augusta, Georgia to Milan, Tennessee for Kim’s grandfather’s funeral. He had been sick for several years, but his health had deteriorated quickly in recent weeks leading to his death early Saturday morning. So, after preaching Sunday morning we loaded up the family minivan and headed north toward Tennessee.
As we gathered for his funeral on Monday there were many family members and friends who came to show their concern, share their love and tell of times with him that they fondly recalled. His pastor of the past twenty-plus years gave a comforting and personal message full of scripture, hope and memories. It was a Jesus-honoring, heart-healing and family-gathering time that included special music played by a guitar duo since he so loved to play and sing with a guitar.
We spent some time on Monday and Tuesday with Kim’s grandmother in her new nursing home room looking through pictures, talking about days gone by and making new memories and pictures with her and the kids. Kim was always so very close to her grandmother and grandaddy Dowdy, and to have these days together with her and the children no doubt meant a great deal to her. I’m sure that in the months and years to come this long trip will have been more than worth it, if just for those few day together.
As Kim and I got ready to leave town to make our way home to Georgia we drove past the family farm, and immediately memories came flooding back into our minds. As we have talked in recent days there are fond memories that have come to the forefront of our minds of those days spent at Grandmother and Granddaddy Dowdy’s house.
There was a great big garden where granddaddy would show me all of the fruits and vegetables.
Grandmother’s cooking – pies, cobblers, fried chicken.
Grandmother would make up and read stories to me.
Granddaddy put a tire swing on the tree for me to play on.
There were always dogs and cats and all sorts of other kinds of animals for me to play with.
Grandmother would play the piano and sing to me.
Granddaddy would play his guitar and sing to me.
They were always involved at church – fixing things, planning VBS, teaching a class, helping the pastor and staff.
Granddaddy would let me shoot a soup can hanging from a tree with his pellet rifle.
Grandmother would always come in an cover me up at night so I wouldn’t get cold.
We would ride in Granddaddy’s old truck to the store for ice cream.
They would pray with me at night before I went to sleep.
What memories to you have of your grandmother and granddaddy’s house? Are you making memories with your children or grandchildren? Take the time to love and invest and build into the life of your family because as we discovered this week, life is passing and short.