On May 5th I lost someone. Someone so very dear. It was sudden. And I'm sure I felt my heart break. Crush. Scatter. Now I'm bent, and a little broken, trying to pick up some pieces. I'm trying to accept, not fill, the void. To find peace. To honor a life. A life that was good. And Godly.
The one I lost? A farmer. 89 years old. Died walking on his land. Just a few miles from where he was born. Just near his home - a sacred place to me. Where my mom grew up. The daughter of a farmer. Running and working and growing. Poured into. Loved. Grounded deep and strong. By him. It's where I ran and played and grew. The granddaughter of a farmer. Running barefoot and eating blueberries off the bushes. Riding in trucks and climbing fences. Poured into. Loved. Grounded deep and strong. By him. And then, it's where I took my girls. The great granddaughters of a farmer. To run and play and grow. To be poured into. Loved. To be rooted deep and strong. By him. Good. And Godly.
He died there. In his place. Where he grew and guided generations. For a lifetime. His spent his life plodding along beside us all. Sometimes we didn't even notice. But he was always there. Showing us the way. Grounding us. He was steady. Constant. Quiet. Content. Loving us anyway. Even when he didn't understand. Or agree. Even when we disappointed him. He just stayed with us. And slowly, over time, he became part of us. An inner voice. A light in the darkness. Good. And Godly.
I've thought a lot about him. How he lived his life. And his legacy now he's gone. And it's like I've learned something for the first time. Something I thought I knew, but am only just now really grasping. You know? It's just so simple. Just live a life that's good. And Godly.
This life is not a race. It's not a contest. It's not about ego or possessions or accomplishments. Or even about finding happiness. It's about people. About love. I want to be good. And Godly. I want to plod along beside my people. Even when they don't notice. I want to still be there. Showing the way. Grounding them. Steady. Constant. Quiet. Content. I want to love them anyway. Even when I don't understand. Or agree. Even when they disappoint me. I want to stay with them. And slowly, over time, I want to become part of them. An inner voice. A light in the darkness. Good. And Godly.
I never talked to him about Jesus. I didn't have to, I guess. He folded his hands like a child and prayed before he ever took a bite. He raised his family in church. But more than that? He lived like Jesus. Not fancy. Or loud. Or prominent. But Good. And Godly. And I don't think I really noticed. Not like I should have. But he spent a lifetime loving me anyway. Like Jesus loves. Always near. Always loving. I never earned it. Maybe he knew I'd get it. I'd see it one day. Even if it was after he left this Earth. Maybe he knew I'd finally understand that I don't have to be fancy or loud or prominent to leave a mark on the world. Or maybe he didn't know. Maybe he had no idea that I'd ever understand. But for a lifetime he just lived and loved like Jesus anyway. Not knowing the mark he was leaving. And he did leave mark. A deep and strong and shining mark on my heart. A mark that will guide how I raise my children and how I treat people and how I live out the rest of my life without him. He left a mark that is permanent. Not because of what he had or did. But because of what he was. Good. And Godly.
That's the legacy I want. When I die. I want it to be clear. That I lived and loved like Jesus. Steady. Constant. Quiet. Content. For a lifetime. Even if it's not noticed while I walk this Earth. Or ever. But maybe in death, like Jesus, and like the one I lost. Maybe in death my life will come into focus. Because I will leave a mark. A mark of love. To carry forward his legacy. One that is good. And Godly.
He was Verna Ray Adams. My Grandpa. A farmer. He was good. And he was Godly.
July 26, 1928 - May 5, 2018
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord."
– I Corinthians 15:58