12 February 2011

Remembering Grandpa Bud

This morning, half-way around the world, a memorial service was held for Grandpa. Our hearts were there with our dear family. My husband wrote this to be read during that service...

Growing up close to Grandpa, I often had the privilege of being his companion and helper. In my elementary years, I'm sure I slowed the work down more than actually being a helper, but he never let on to that fact. By middle school and high school, I may have started to lend something to the partnership, although he would remain the brains behind the operation. Together we managed jobs like hanging awnings, cleaning gutters, running cables and trimming trees. I can't recall him ever becoming frustrated or annoyed through the many years and many jobs. If something didn't work the first time, we would just get back in the little station wagon for another trip to the hardware store until we found something that would work. He always seemed to walk through the pleasures and the challenges of life with a joy and peace that I truly appreciate now.

He was a story-teller. My favorite one was about the time he spent working in a factory making metal coils. He worked at a station and had a quota of how many coils he had to complete each hour. If he made his quota before the hour finished he could sit for a a few minutes to rest. During these breaks he noticed two marks in the wooden floorboards at the station. The man who did this job before him had spent so many years standing in one spot making coils, he had actually worn groves in the floor where he had stood. Grandpa said he decided he didn't want to spend his life making those groves deeper. He began to look for other options which would eventually lead him to Delaware.

You learn a lot about a person and from a person by simply walking through life with them. From Grandpa I learned the importance of sometimes choosing the unknown path over the well-trodden path. But perhaps more importantly, I learned about walking down the path with a grace, peace and joy that is not easily shaken by circumstance.

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