Monday, July 20, 2009

Living in the Legacy he Left Behind...

For those of you who know me you know how much I admire, love, and cherish my family. I was raised in a wonderful home with awesome parents (who will celebrate 38 years of wedded bliss in September), 3 wonderful older siblings (even when the boys would put me in a headlock and my sister complained that I used her stuff without asking...what can I say, I wanted to be just like her), and a dog. But I don't think I share a lot regarding the history, the legacy that made a home for our family here in Dallas.

My grandfather (my dad's dad) was a remarkable, astonishing, loving, compassionate man. I truly believe that everything my dad exudes as a husband, father, & grandfather comes directly from the father who raised him (and definitely his mother as well). My grandfather moved to Texas to attend school at SMU and to work. He left behind my grandmother in Illinois. They were in love, but the time wasn't right for them to marry and he wanted to make a home for them first... so they dated via snail mail : ) It's a great story, I so can't do it justice, but my grandmother lights up a room when she shares it.

I had a break the other day and I was coming home from seeing a movie with a friend and decided to take a walk on the SMU campus. I know this campus very well as I spent 4 years of my education there. It brought overwhelming joy to imagine what it was like when my grandfather walked that campus as a student. I know for one thing... there was only one building (Dallas Hall), dirt roads, and a handful of trees. It's definitely grown since the late 1930s.

It was amazing the things I started to remember about my grandfather as I walked the campus this past weekend. I remembered his booming voice, his gentle spirit, how he would wrestle with us on the ground (just as my father does now with his grandkids), his passion for the Texas Rangers, his love and adoration for my grandmother... and most of all something I've never shared with anyone else (except for now with you dear readers). My grandfather grew gravely ill in the beginning of November 1997. He lived for 2 weeks longer than they expected in a hospital bed. During those two weeks I spent many evenings with my parents and grandmother in Granddaddy's hospital room. One night we watched "Wheel of Fortune" together, of course he was in a deep sleep, but I still shared that moment with him, I sat with him, I kept him company. I also told him that I would take care of myself, I promised him that I would get better for the rest of the family as I knew he was headed home to be with Jesus. I forgot about that promise until the other day. It's amazing what God reminds us of in times when we least expect it. It brought great joy to know that even though it took me 3 years, I did it... I kept my promise and I didn't do it alone. I've lost a lot of love in my life and I won't deny that I haven't wondered why He didn't take me home over 10 years ago while living a wreckless life of such disobedience, but with a gentle whisper (usually when I need it the most) I'm reminded of why I was given the strength to fight.

I'll see Granddaddy again in Heaven some day, but until then he's busy wrestling with Billy Jr. and that makes me happy. I thank God everyday for the legacy my grandfather built and left behind, I thank him that he set the bar for the man my father would become and my father in turn sets the bar for the man I hope to marry someday. I'm one blessed child of the King and if time and space would allow I would share more... I just hope Granddaddy knows how much I love him, I hope he is proud of the family my father raised, and I hope that I can continue make him proud by living out the legacy he left behind.

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