I've been thinking about family a lot today.
I don't know if everyone feels this about their family, but I've always thought that mine is one in a million. When I was in elementary school and learned that when a girl gets married she changes her last name to her husband's, that did it for me- forget that marriage junk.
My grandparents are two of the most amazing people that I've ever known and wished that I knew more. They love people in a way that works hard and prays consistently. They have a testimony that is solid and true- two people who have run the race and fought the good fight together.
I went to work in high school at the same camp, Thousand Pines, that my grandma and grandpa had worked for for decades. This camp was where my parents had met and been married; my dad was the "cool" lifeguard who had a crush on the "hot" counselor (my mom). He wooed her one summer with his pancake making skills and horse that he told her was named Wildfire, but was really named Cocoa. I could be getting this story totally wrong, but this is what you told me, dad. And mom.
Anyhow, my parents met there. And that's also where I met Ricky. He did not have a horse.
My grandma and grandpa worked at Thousand Pines with generations of staff coming and going for different summers. My grandma ran the kitchen and my grandpa ran what seems like everything else. Walking through Thousand Pines as a kid, I always felt like my grandpa had built the whole place. I loved this camp because I loved my family- it was ours, at least it was to me.
I worked there for several years and even though my grandparents had long since moved on in retirement, I got to know them so much more in that time. People that I worked with who had worked with them had so much love for them- stuff like stories about how my grandpa had changed their life while they did maintenance together one summer, or how no one could run the kitchen like my grandma did. I'd be hostessing women's groups in the dining room and somehow someone would mention my grandma, and ladies with tears in their eyes would tell me what a dear friend or amazing boss she was and how blessed I was to be her granddaughter.
And I am blessed. I'm blessed to have had the prayers of two fierce prayer warriors going before me in my life. I think of my husband who loves Jesus so much and who works so hard at everything he puts his hands to, my kids who are so darn smart and healthy and wonderful, and I thank God that He saw fit to give me such a heritage and testimony. My Grandma and my Grandpa are one in a million.
My Grandpa joined Jesus today in His eternal and heavenly home, and while my heart grieves and realizes that this world is less one amazing man today, I know that my one in a million grandpa heard that "Well done" from His Savior and Friend, and I'm glad. What a blessing to have been someone who got to see and experience the fruit of that well done life.
I love you Papa Bear.