Friday, July 24, 2009

Missing a truly great man

My grandpa, Lewis Reams, went home to be with Jesus on Monday evening. It is such a tough loss for everyone that knew him because he was such an incredible and exemplary husband, father, grandpa and friend.

There are hundreds of little things I love and cherish about my time with my grandpa. I loved playing cards with him, taking family vacations, going out to breakfast, enjoying a cup of coffee. I loved hearing him tell stories about my mom and my aunt and uncle as kids. I loved hearing about how he served in his church. I consider myself so so lucky to have had him around for my 25 years of life. He attended all of my graduations from Kindergarten to Cal Poly, came to countless performances and sporting events and was a part of every family holiday. He was faithful man and everyone who knew him could rely on him for just about anything.

The thing about my grandpa that I am most impacted by is his selflessness. My grandparents were married for 61 years and throughout their marriage my grandpa served my grandma sacrificially. He is a true example of the call in Philippians 2, to consider others better than yourself and look to the interests of others. When I first heard the news that he had passed away I immediately began to think about the passage in 1 Corinthians 13 that describes love and at the end of his life I see how my grandpa has given me such a full example of how to love others in marriage, in family and in friendships. Grandpa was patient and kind, forgiving and courteous, gracious and sacrificial. Over the past few years as both of my grandparents health has declined he has vigilantly looked after my grandma, making sure he did everything to help keep her healthy and happy. To his last day he fulfilled his marriage vows sought to take care of my grandma.

His own health situation was really rough this past year with many trips to the doctor and stays at the hospital but I never heard him complain. Even on the day he passed away and was in so much discomfort, he was more concerned with his wife and his family and how we were doing. He was an eternal optimist, he could always find the silver lining in even the worst of situations. There are not enough words to describe the impact my grandpa has made on me. I love him so much and I am going to miss him terribly. Even now, though I am so heartbroken by this loss, I know that I am so blessed and lucky to have had such an amazing grandpa. He leaves behind an incredible legacy of faith and love for the Lord. I hope that I can live my life like grandpa's: with the strength of character, devotion to my faith and my family and overflowing joy in all circumstances.