Gene, I know you will never read this, but just in case you decide to turn on your computer.....I want to say thank you. Thank you for jumping in and receiving my kids just as if they were your own grand kids.
I hate death. I hate that you and mom both lost the person in this world most precious to you. I hate that I lost my dad and my kids lost their grandfather....I hate that your family lost their mother and grandma....I hate that there is a little heartache in each of us at all times because of the loss of my dad and your Martha. But this past week I was reminded of God's goodness through you.
God is so good to us. This week I found myself overwhelmed with emotion time and time again: when I would see my children's face as they were in your arms, when I would see my mom's face in your company, when I would feel the peace in your home...God has used you to fill many of those voids that death so fiercely left us with when dad died. Thank you for embracing all of us. I distinctly remember a conversation I had with mom once when you two first started talking. She said she was going to wait to tell you how big our family was. I didn't get it. I said, "Why would you do that? He would probably love to know that you have you 5 kids, 4 son-in laws, and 6 awesome grandchildren....I think most people would consider that a huge blessing." She said, "Holly, I think most people would consider that a lot of baggage!" :) Thank you for not treating us like baggage :). Thank you for loving and serving us in multiple ways: By teaching my boys so many new things, by allowing them to tag along and "help" even when I know it made things much harder and slower for you, by holding Annie until she fell asleep in your arms time and time again, by letting me tell you things about my dad, by praying for us by name everyday, by introducing us as family to your church, by fixing fresh coffee every hour :).
I am reminded of this verse: Isaiah 40:11
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
Thank you for being Jesus' hands to us.....for gathering our kids in your arms, carrying them close to your heart, and gently leading our family. We love you.
Thank you for letting us go to the farm. My favorite part was feeding Abe. I loved riding him too. I love you. My daddy laughed when I gave him the pheasant's fetter (feather), foot, and tail from you. Mommy and I laughed really hard too. Thank you for letting me pee outside in the snow.
I miss you and Grandma.