When I was about twelve years old, my parents decided they wanted to move to Pierre, SD. Pierre?! Who in the right mind WANTS to move to Pierre?! Yes, I asked myself the exact same thing. I remember one day, during this process, crying to my dad about how much I would miss my grandparents if we moved so far away. We lived about twenty minutes from both sets of grandparents, and I liked it that way. My dad told me that my sister and I were getting older and would not want to spend much time with them anyway. Boy, was he wrong.
During high school, Tracy and I still planned sleep overs at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. In college, I worked at an assisted living. I worked twenty hours out of twenty four hour spans. So, during my brief breaks, I would nap at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. I worked every Saturday, vacation day, and summer breaks during college. During my junior year of college I finally decided I should do something fun for Spring Break. All of my roommates headed to South Padre. I grabbed Grandma Orpha and headed on a week long road trip through Minnesota. Boy, was Dad wrong. In his own words, “Garsh, son.”
My grandfather passed away last Saturday somewhat unexpectedly. He was a Lutheran minister his entire career. Every place we went together he knew somebody or somebody knew him. When I was little, I thought he was famous. My grandfather baptized me and twenty-three years later, officiated my wedding.
Here are some of the things my grandpa taught me:
- The importance of planting and fostering trees.
- What it means to make a promise and to be given a promise.
- That every single person, no matter what, is welcome in the house of God. Nobody, regardless of race, religion, status, background, criminal record, sexual preference, is to be excluded from worshipping Christ and feeling like a part of a church family.
John and I are leaving this morning to attend the prayer services and funeral for Grandpa Leroy. It still has not fully sunk in that he is gone. Tomorrow afternoon I am speaking at the funeral on behalf of all eleven grandchildren. If you remember, around two o’clock tomorrow, I could use a little extra prayer support. Grandparents are wonderful people. I am lucky to still have three of my four grandparents. I have fond memories with each of them, and I thank my dad for not making us pack up and move to Pierre so many years ago.
-The Displaced City Girl