I awoke to the sound of the alarm going off at 6am yesterday morning. I hit the snooze twice. I am no early riser, this was going to be difficult. I finally jolted awake and scrambled out of bed when I realized we were gonna be late.
We dragged the boys out of bed, hurried through breakfast and herded the boys out the door. As John was buckling the boys in, I snuck back to my closet and changed my outfit for the 3rd time.
Nope, not the jean skirt...to casual...not my grey slack shorts...still too casual for the older crowd. Why, oh why, did I leave my outfit to the last minute?? I sent up a prayer and seconds later found the perfect skirt. It was an important day. I grabbed my camera bag and headed out the door.
The sun was bright, almost irritating. Though it was early in the morning, I felt myself scorching in the bright morning sun. After a few hours, we arrived in Kingsburg.
Last night John told the boys we were going to Kingsburg and Calvin started happily chattering about going to Burger King. It took me a few minute to figure out that Kingsburg=Burger King. I guess I'm a little slow. Or just distracted.
We pulled up to our destination, with a few minutes to spare. Thus far I've taken some baby pictures and helped with a wedding, but never before had I photographed a funeral.
Today I had the privilege of attending the funeral of one of the great gentlemen of our time: John's Grandpa Lowell.
A quiet man, with a clever sense of humor, but never at anyone's expense. Always working diligently behind the scenes, never seeking the limelight. A woodworker with impeccable standards, never, ever cutting corners. The grain in the wood had to match seamlessly, and was sanded to perfection. The evidence of his handi-work is scattered all over their church building.
No wonder John made me sand-prime-sand, a million times before painting my bathroom cabinets. John got this from his father, who got this from his father.
What endeared me most to Grandpa Lowell was his connection with babies and small animals, namely birds. Birds would come and eat food out of his lap.They all responded to him. He was the baby whisperer and animal whisperer in one. You could always find him holding the baby of the bunch. And in recent years, this always happened to be one of my boys. The way to a mom's heart I tell you.
And yesterday, as I sat in the pews of his church listening to the eulogies, I grew even more impressed by the man I thought I knew.
If he had a fault, it was because he was almost too patient. But he most certainly was not a push-over. As a sunday school teacher, he rewarded each class at the end by going to Disneyland for good behavior. Except for one year, says student Jerry, who was a bit of a trouble maker. No, that year Jerry's class did not get to go to Disneyland. But sweet Grandpa Lowell did not forget about Jerry. On the day of Jerry's wedding, he handed him some tickets to Disneyland.
His children testify that growing up, they never heard their father say a harsh word or yell. Pretty impressive. My children cannot say this of me. In fact, as I was writing this post, I had a melt-down of epic proportions when I discovered Finn and Calvin playing outside with recycled cans from John's work. In case you had not noticed, I have serious issues with the thought of my boys dousing themselves in backwash. Blech. However, I completely over-reacted. All this, over soda cans.
But I don't think Grandpa Lowell over-reacted to anything. It just was not in his nature. And he passed these traits all the way down to his grandchildren as well. My husband John is patient too and rarely yells. And my boys gravitate to him.
It DOES matter how you speak. You will pass this on to your children.
John and his mom.
John's brother Pete + wife Kristin
A few nights ago Grandpa Lowell kissed Grandma Doris on the cheek as they got into bed. And then he breathed his last and was escorted from his loving wife, to his Savior. What a way to go.