Solemnly, he stood by the open casket with a lone tear streaming from his young brown eyes. He carefully looked around to make sure no one would notice as he slid the hand written note and black ink picture he had drawn into his grandfather’s suit coat pocket.
They had laughed together, enjoyed shaved ice together, numerous restaurant buffets, and too many unforgettable dollar store shopping excursions to count. For months, my son, had watched his grandfather’s health rapidly decline. Although there had been several false scares and numerous hospital visits, our twelve-year old was still unprepared for the death of who he called his “best buddy”, Papa Cleaford.
Following the visitation held at the church, I was approached by the funeral home director who had so graciously made a copy of the note my son had placed within his grandfather’s pocket. It is with my son Tyler’s permission, that I would like to share excerpts from his words of goodbye. I have left his misspelled words untouched.
Dear Granddaddy, I love you so much. This is your great grandson Tyler Weeks. I knew since I was 0 years old we had great times together. I hope you know how much I loved you. One thing I always looked forward to was getting money from you at Christmas. But now you have pasted (passed) away and you changed me and Macy’s life. One way is you helped me learn about God. I now know that you’re safe with God and Mama Nell….. Now you have eternal life and one day again we will meet face to face in heaven. I will be a big Christian for you. I going to your funeral now with your son Earl. I promise to watch out for him till he dies. You will see him again one day…...This weekend when I play football I will dedicate my game to you and play hard as I ever had. I miss you. I have dressed nicely for your funeral. I’m lucky I met you cause you’re the nicest person in the world. You’re a good Christian. People loved you a lot.
One day I want to love a lady like you loved and took care of Mama Nell. I love you and I know I have said 1,000,000 times but I really love you. Get ready for your new life with Jesus and God…… Love, Tyler
No matter how many blogs, articles or devotions I write, it is inevitable that years after my death, many will forget my name. I often ponder how will I be remembered by my family and closest friends. I don’t want to leave behind only tangible items for my children. A house, a car, money, financial portfolio.....those things will only last for but a season.
Just being candid, I have made some mistakes in my past and I have a few regrets. Some of those have been within my marriage. Looking back there are some opportunities and things that I wish I could have done differently. We cannot change our past, but we can change our future. I desire more than anything that the words that I have shared with my two children will allow them to continue to pass the hope and love of Jesus Christ. I realize now that one of the greatest possessions that I can leave Tyler & Macy is my faithfulness and fidelity to my marriage with my husband. I hope they will always know that aside from my relationship with God, that my husband is my most cherished gift.
“You are an ancestor to someone yet to come. If you live your life knowing you are an ancestor, that will change the way you make your decisions, the way you live your life, the way you love your wife.” Albert Mohler, From The Art of Marriage