August 2, 2008

Grandpa Lowell

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 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.

John's Dad

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.


  1. This post brought tears to my eyes - all to familiar at the moment, but so very sweet. You make him sound wonderful. Everyone wishes they would have been blessed with a grandparent like that. And knowing that he is with the Lord, makes this story all the more sweeter.. Thanks for sharing this. It blessed me!

    I can't believe how much John looks like his dad - oh and his brother.. Fun!

  2. You are a fabulous photographer!

    Doesn't it make it easier to know when they go so peacefully? That sounds so similar to my grandpa's passing in January. He kissed Grandma and told her he loved her, and then he went home.

  3. I hope I go in the same way, but it still made me cry. Not that he left peacefully, but that I can't help but think of his wife...

    Beautiful tribute. I LOVE old people and their legacies.

  4. That was simply lovely! I've been asked to photograph a funeral before and although awkward at the time and I got many dirty looks from guests, it was a wonderful way to journal the life of a grandparent for her grandchildren who wouldn't know her.

    I love the way you wrote this as well. =0)

  5. The pictures are so beautiful Davi... and what a beautiful tribute to a man who was obviously so loved and adored. How lucky your children are to have known him for at least a bit in their young lives.

  6. I'm so sorry about your Grandpa-in-law. You did a beautiful job with the pictures!

  7. wow.
    that was really touching, davi.
    its such an honor to know people like that.
    the pictures are all really beautiful and i especially love the one of john and ollie.
    i love the kingsburg/burgerking thing- so cute!

  8. your funeral photos are perfect... just the right feeling to them.

    Grandpa Lowell sounds like a wonderful man. And what a sweet tribute to your husband to say that he is like him!!

    your grandpa's final moments were so tender and beautiful-- what a lovely way for the Lord to take him home.

  9. Davi, that was beautiful. I love the way that you wrote this post, and I also loved to read about such an incredible, godly man. And what a conviction as well - not many people could have the same things said about them, sadly. It has given me much to consider!

    Your pictures are awesome, as always. Again, this was such a wonderful post!

  10. perfect pictures, perfect words. isn't it so much more enjoyable to attend a funeral for someone whom you know is in a better place, a perfect place, with his perfect Savior.

    Great job dear friend.

    and that hubby of yours cleans up reeeel nice. what is it with a man in a suit?=)

  11. So I know this is like 2+ months overdue, but I was just reading some of your older posts and came across this one. I am practically in tears. You did such a beautiful job of capturing this man's life. I love the Disneyland story and I think the way you described his Home-going was perfect! What dear memories you have to hold on to...and what a great roll-model you have to look upon. I yell too much too, and I so wish I didn't.