At a women's Bible study the other night at church, we were watching a video to introduce a book we will be starting this week. The speaker of the conference, with tears in her eyes, talked about the death of her father from a heart attack when he was in his fifties. She said she never even got to know her father as an adult. As hard as that must have been for her, though, she said something that really hit me, "God is good, and everything He does is good." I know I believe that, but how hard it would be to think that way after the death of a close loved-one. I'm hoping I can have the strength to remember that through all the tough times to come in my life.
At eighty-nine, my grandfather continues to tell us that he has had a great life and is so lucky. He has Alzheimer's and has good days and bad as far as his memory goes, so I don't know if he knows what is happening when he tells us this, but it sure is comforting.
In the car on the way to Georgia, I thought about all the wonderful memories I have with Grandad, mostly when I was young before he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
I remember sitting on the couch with him for hours under a covered dock at his lake house fishing. When I say fishing, though, I really mean holding the pole - he or my dad would handle the part involving the minnows and worms and take the many catfish we caught off the hook.
He was a great cook, and he made the best chocolate cream pie I have eaten or ever will eat. Whenever he knew my brother and I were coming for a visit, he would have several pies ready and in the fridge waiting for us.
Probably my favorite memory of him, though, is riding in his yellow boat. He must have loved yellow because he also had a yellow car. My brother, cousin and I would spend hours on a tube or skiing behind the boat. Then the whole family would spread out blankets and picnic on the sandy beach of an island and stay for hours.
More recently, when Grandad was living in Florida, he would plan for the whole family to come together each year and go on a cruise. It was so nice getting away from distractions and be surrounded by family, and we all had a great time. Those trips are memories I don't think any of us will ever forget.
I am so thankful for all the time I have had with my grandfather and will continue to treat each visit as a blessing and a chance to create more wonderful memories with him.
Christie McNeal is a copy editor and writer for the Daily Journal. Contact her at email@example.com.