Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Remembering My Grandpa

 My Grandpa Alvin went on to be with the Lord this past Saturday night. So naturally this week I am thinking often of him and remembering times we have spent together. We are also preparing for a trip to Nebraska to attend his funeral and spend time with family.

  I haven't had a very close personal relationship with my Grandpa simply because we always lived hundreds of miles away from each other (except the few months following my birth as my parents actually lived near my grand-parents when I was born) and since we weren't wealthy and were rather tied down on our homestead in Northern MN during my growing up years we would only travel to see my Mom's family once a year at New Years time and pretty much the whole family would gather then (which was great fun!) and since it was a very large family there wasn't a lot of individual attention after the initial hug when we arrived. Grandpa would come to see us occasionally but not every year as he was very busy too with his farming and other responsibilities. But close relationship or not my Grandpa has still always been someone that I have looked up to and respected a lot. I thank God for him and his life for so many reasons and I thought it would be fun to share some of those reasons with you.
My Grandpa and  (some of) his family or which I am happy to be a part.
 Reasons that I am thankful for my Grandpa:

~He loved God with all his heart. He was a Christian and someone who studied his Bible and sought to know God's truth. He also taught it to others. He would encourage us to seek God first in our lives too. If we can do that too - what better legacy could my Grandpa leave behind? None that I  know of.

~He loved his family. I do not remember my biological grandma very well as she died of breast cancer just before I turned 6. But I have enjoyed hearing stories of how my Grandpa would help her and care for her. Later on my Grandpa remarried my Grandma Jean and I did enjoy watching their relationship when I had a chance. It was definitely one filled with love and respect for one another. My Grandpa had 9 kids, one of them being my Mom, He was a loving Dad to his children.

 ~He worked hard. My Grandpa was a Nebraska farmer. When my mom was a child they had a dairy farm and then in my memory he raised mostly corn and soybeans. Either way it was a lot of work. But he enjoyed his work and didn't mind working hard. He farmed his land up into his 80's.

~ He enjoyed learning. My Grandpa didn't graduate from highschool (he went through 8th grade and then I believe he was needed on the farm) but that didn't stop him from learning. He enjoyed reading up on things and visiting with others and was very interested in learning. Everybody that knew him considered him to be a very intelligent man.
~He was a good friend. The picture above shows my Grandpa and Grandma and their good friends Bob and June Blanshan. Bob and June lived near us during a lot of my childhood (and Bob was like another Grandpa to me) so it was through Bob that I actually learned more about my Grandpa. He had many stories of how my Grandpa had been able to encourage and help him as he was a struggling young preacher. My grandpa was somebody that he would go to for counsel.

~ He was a faithful "Mr. Steady". My Grandpa was somebody that people could count on. He faithfully lived his life on the farm, helped with the church and reached out to others.

~He loved music and had a great singing voice. (My biological Grandma was very talented in this area as well.) Music has always been a big part of our family. Music specifically that praises God and shares God's truth with others. When my mom was a child her family would sing together. They would go to nursing homes and sing and they ended up doing many concerts other places as well. They started a New Year's Eve sing in their small Nebraska town and that went on for many years. We always loved going to Grandpa's to be a part of it each year.

~He enjoyed traveling. I think this went along with his love of learning. He enjoyed seeing new places. He was in the Navy in World War 2 so that gave him a good start in being a world traveler but he continued to keep it up through-out his life. I remember hearing stories about his trip to the Holy Land and then Thailand. My memory is that he had visited every continent but I am wondering if that was except Antartica.

~He enjoyed times of relaxing and playing games. Growing up the game that I always remember him playing was "Rook". I remember feeling pretty special when at our family gatherings I was old enough to play rook with Grandpa and the Uncles. Later on (I think my Grandma from Indiana was influential in this) they played a lot of Euchre which Ken and I would have fun playing with them at times.

   I am so thankful for the Christian heritage that I have and for the very large part that my Grandpa played in that godly heritage.   


Amelia said...

What a precious, precious tribute to your grandpa. He sounds like such a sweet Christian man.

I'm so sorry for your family's loss, even though he lived far away it sounds like he will be sorely missed.

God bless you and your family this Holy Season.

Jennifer said...

So sorry for your loss. So wonderful that someday you'll be reunited.

Mei.T Ngai said...

Hi Abbi,
I am sorry for your loss. I remember I did meet Alvin once when I was in the U.S. I still remember his nice smile.
May God's blessing with you!
Mei Toi

Abbi said...

Thank you all for your kind comments!

miranda said...

What an amazingly beautiful tribute of our Grandpa. I am thankful for the constants that each of us hold dear about him. I am thankful for the legacy he has left in each of our lives. Love you cousin.

Abbi said...

Thanks Miranda! Love you too!


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