Thursday, October 27, 2011

Who are these people?

Thank you all for your sweet comments and emails about my last post on my grandad. They were much appreciated.

Although our trip was mostly somber, my children are children and they tend to egg one another on toward any and all ridiculousness. Driving past acre upon acre of cornfields and tall, tall grass on our way home inspired them and we were forced to pull over.

Sadie didn't wasn't quite as committed as the other two in hiding and then surprising the enemy. Odds are, I'm the only one laughing right now which I'm totally not insecure about. Actually, it happens a lot.

Their ridiculousness only continued this week when, after an outing with their father, two of them walked creepily into the house dressed like this. Then they ran around the front yard until the neighbors called the police.

They didn't really call the police. I added that for drama.

Y'all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Over Labor Day, I loaded the kids up in the suburban and headed due north to Nebraska to visit my grandparents.

I had spent every summer and holiday with them growing up but it had been way too long since we'd visited. The kids loved spending time with them - playing cards, eating ice cream, and comparing wrinkled, well-used hands to hands that have yet to see really hard work, or endure much suffering, or hold the newborn or the dying.

Last Tuesday night, just five short weeks from when we had seen them last, my dad called late to tell me my grandaddy had died. He was 91 and had lived more life that I even know about. He was a child of the Great Depression, a young man of World War II, a father to two, and a husband to one for 67 years.

For more time than a lot of people live, my grandparents walked through life together. He was a hand-holder and I remember him taking my grandmother's hand and sitting on the back porch while my brother and I played in their backyard on summer evenings.

A few months ago, some friends and I were talking about marriage and hard seasons. Not just difficult days, or annoyances, but stone cold months and years which threaten to crush a covenant that promises perseverance through the good, the bad, the sick, the healthy, the rich, and the poor. A wise older woman had shared that those seasons are, of course, inevitable. But, in light of sharing the good part of a century with someone, even a few bad years pale in comparison to all the true and the beautiful and the redemptive.

Those were the things my grandmother was holding onto as we buried my grandaddy on Monday in a cemetery in Hastings. They had grown up and grown old together. They had children together, celebrated grandchildren together, and kissed great-grand children together. They had run, and slowed, and eventually bent over walkers together. All bound by the vows symbolized in the rings that no longer fit their fingers.

The crisp flag that draped his casket was ceremonially folded and presented to his bride in thanks of his service to his country, 21 guns saluted him, and roses were laid one by one in the heart-heavy goodbye's of his family and friends. And one of the last to leave, his partner for life gently patted the casket, said her last 'I love you', and then whispered, "Goodbye, good buddy."

Because he had been.