MORE THAN STRINGS & A PIECE OF WOOD

The day I closed on my land was my Grandad’s Birthday. He passed a few years ago from Parkinson’s Disease. I loved him. I miss him. He taught me to fish. He taught me about Jesus. He was the most unbelievably patient, loving, kind man I ever knew. People may think Im so far from my Southern Baptist, “conservative” Texas upbringing. But Im not, really. Its the base of who I am. What I am.

My Grandad was more Christian than any person Ive ever known in my life. Gentle, kind, giving, loving, forgiving. I wish I could be half the person he was. He was a simple man from Arkansas who left home at 15. He never graduated high school. He married my Granny who was the love of his life and raised 3 children. My Mom the oldest. He worked HARD to provide. He loved Jesus. He’d give the shirt off of his back to ANYONE who asked. He wouldn’t question their need, their reasons, their job history, their drug use, their motives. He’d just give. Then give some more. Happily and lovingly and Jesus-like.
He loved his grandchildren so much. Sooooo much. There’s nothing like the love of a grandparent.
Sometimes with today’s current conversation I grow weary of the hearts of others and of myself. Not sure how we got to the point of speaking so unkindly about each other. I’ve certainly been guilty of that. I am ashamed of that. I “walked away” from Christianity and all religion because I didn’t want to be associated with the ugliness and bigotry of it. I think I forgot the beautiful parts of it. The “Grandad” parts of it. Shame on me for that. I like God. I don’t do religion. But I stood on that piece of land Saturday on my Grandad’s birthday, knowing my Grandmother got me there and had a feeling things could change. And I don’t mean just in the world…I mean in me.
And isn’t that where it should begin, anyway.
I love you Grandad. I value the lessons you taught me. I miss your sweet laugh and peaceful demeanor and kindness and your boat and swimming at the lake house and your unending patience. You were more “God-like” than anyone knew, I think. More than I knew. I wish I’d seen it more. I wish Id’ve appreciated it more when you were on Earth.
It might’ve taken 45 years and some change for your lessons to resonate…but I see them now. I love you. Hope the ponds are stocked where you are. I think I get it now.
   “The best thing you’ll ever own is a piece of land”
            ‘A Bible and a 44″
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