June 28, 2014

Grandpa Luke

I'm so proud to have called Bill Luke "grandpa" for 11 1/2 years. He loved his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren so well. Words can't express how thankful I am for the legacy he left and the forever-impact that it's had on our family. We're thankful that he's healed, whole and with Jesus, but we miss him tremendously.

He passed away on Father's Day.  He had the ultimate Father's Day with his heavenly Father, I suppose.  It's still hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that he's gone.  His trailer still sits on his campsite at camp, and I catch myself glancing over to see if he's sitting out in his lounge chair.

I think his passing will really sink in for me during Family Camp when he's not hauling coffee to the tents and I don't have him down the hall from my office counting offering or calling me with service attendance numbers.

Long before Kyle and I were married, engaged or even dating, I referred to his grandpa as "Gramps."  Everyone who worked at camp did.  Back then, he and grandma took care of all of the gardening and flowers, but I think their primary role was getting to know the staff and making us all feel loved.

My grandpas and one of my grandmas passed away before Kyle and I were married.  My Grandpa Haskin died when I was 4, my grandma Haskin died when I was 11, and my Grandpa Wietholter died a few months before Kyle and I were engaged.  So when I joined Kyle's family, I was more than thankful for another set of grandparents.  And from day one, I felt like I was one of their own.

One of my favorite memories about Grandpa Luke might be the night Kyle and I got engaged. He was so excited for us . . . but he kept telling everyone, "I'm going to be a great grandpa!" We had to keep reminding him that sharing the news that way was going to give people the wrong idea, but it didn't stop him. He was just so proud he was of his grandchildren and was just as proud (5 years later) of his great grandchildren.

We remembered Grandpa Luke at a memorial service yesterday and it was beautiful.  It was packed out with people who had been influenced by Kyle's grandparents in some way.  I was so overwhelmed with the fact that there was no mistake as to what Grandpa Luke's life was all about.

Kyle and I talked on the way home about his grandpa's legacy and how we can be intentional about passing that on to our children.  How can we live in a way that leaves them with no questions about what our lives are about?  We're grateful for Grandpa's life, and for how much he loved Jesus.  We're thankful for the example he and Grandma set in their 60 years of marriage and his faithfulness to her, even as her memory has faded over the last few years and she was moved to a nursing home.

We gave the option of whether or not to come into the service with us and he chose to.  It was very emotional for him, but I'm glad that he did.  I'm thankful that he got to hear about his great grandpa and the things that were important to him.  I ended up having to get up and sit in the back with Claire because she wasn't all that excited about staying in the nursery, so I'm glad that Kyle had Jack there with him. 

When we sang "How Great Thou Art" Claire's eyes lit up and she said, "I LOVE THIS SONG!"  And then we we closed with the doxology, she belted it out just like she does at bedtime. Claire will have no memory of Grandpa Luke, and Ben's memories will be sparse, but the legacy he left for them will be something that we never let them forget.

June 9, 2014


This living room is where Ben and Claire both took their first steps.  Ben started from the wall under the pictures and toddled across to the wall with the sliding door.  With Claire, the Christmas tree was up in the corner, and we were giving her ornaments to carry for the few steps that it took her to get there.

This living room is where I have my most vivid memory of bringing Jack home . . . Kyle holding him while Murphy (our dog) jumped up trying to get a peek at her new little friend.

My kids played here while I made dinner.  I dug toys out from under the chairs and loveseat almost every night.  Kyle and I sat in this room after the kids were in bed on so many evenings . . . sometimes laughing and sometimes crying. 

I remember laying on the floor next to the fireplace when I was pregnant with Jack and finding out the hard way how hot the glass is . . . which led us to purchase that screen the very next day.

I remember sitting in the arm chairs and nursing each of my babies late at night.  I remember watching movies with my mom there when she stayed with me after Jack was born.

Looking at this room, I see kids hunched over those bins in the corner, digging through the toys to find the one they want, while the toys they toss aside make music or siren noises.

I see each of my kids as babies, laying on a blanket in the middle of the floor, or under a baby gym.

I see our small group meeting while our kids play in the basement, and I can almost smell the coffee brewing.

In about a month, this living room will be a memory. Last week, only 10 days after listing our house, we signed a purchase agreement.  Done. Sold.  In a week or so, we'll close and then we have to be out in 30 days.  We've lived here for 9.5 years and I really did think that we'd be here forever.  I love this house.  It's crowded, but still . . . I love it.  I'm so sad to leave.

But I know that it's what we need to do.  I'm praying that something opens up soon, because the pickings are slim right now.  We've seen a few that we like, but nothing we've loved.  I've looked at every listing in Jackson County and refresh my realtor.com app at least once an hour.  I'm doing my best not to panic.

Meanwhile, you can expect more of these sentimental posts about this house and how much I'll miss it.