I have to say that I honestly feel I won the jackpot when it comes to family. I have fond memories of my parents, sister, grandparents, aunts & uncles, and cousins. As a young child, I had to move out of state with my parents and sister. I longed for those “trips back home” to see my family. Trips were often short, but during those times I have some of the most powerful memories.
One such memory was a conversation I had with my grandfather. My grandfather was a hard worker, often working several jobs to care for his family. He was also a very generous man. He was always sliding a little money in your pocket. As a small kid I thought it was great! He always asked if I needed anything and always made sure he sent “Christmas Money.” But as I got older I realized that maybe my grandfather should be saving his money. What if he got sick? So, on one of my visits with my grandfather I asked him, “Grandpa, why do you give us so much? You don’t have to give us anything.” My grandfather simply smiled and said, “Don’t worry about me. I want to die a poor man; you can’t take it with you.” He went on to explain, “As you get older you realize that someday you will be gone. I want to see you enjoy things I give you now. Everyone assumes that when you go to Heaven you get to look down on your loved ones. I don’t want to experience your joy from the things I give you while looking down from Heaven, I want to be with you and see it while I’m alive. Besides no one knows for sure what happens when we go to Heaven. I may not be able to keep an eye on you from Heaven. God may have jobs for us? God may need me to be a Soldier of Christ or a guardian angel to another in need.”
At first I found my grandfather’s comment amusing…my grandfather, the soldier, waving around a sword and fighting off evil. Bet then I really thought about what he was saying. Life is short. Be kind and generous. Make memories. God has plans for all us. And I can’t imagine a better soldier for God to have in his army than my grandfather. Rest in peace Grandpa; I miss you.