Leon Cruse is my Grandpa. He'd always been a powerhouse of knowlege when it came to all things cars, vacuums or the Bible. He had a dog when we were younger named Major, a black lab with a leithal tale. He saved the day once when there was a brush fire right outside his garage/shop. He helped raise 8 children. He knew how to laugh, taught me to play soliatre and chess, performed my wedding and was a kind hearted and generous grandfather. He was a preacher. Being on time for him was being there 15 minutes early. He opened the building, made sure the chairs were set up, song books out, and maybe he prayed a little or reviewed his notes one more time. But two Sundays ago he was late... real late. 20 minutes after start time a few of the men went to his house where they found him. He had died while getting ready for church. There were two pizzas on the dryer for him to pick up on his way out (it was potluck Sunday) and his Bible was on the table with his notes inside and his keys on top.
His death was shocking and I still have pockets of sadness in my day. But the thing that is hardest to know how to handle is the feeling of relief. Is that bad? I feel relieved that he is not lonely, he's not in any pain, he's not weary, he's resting peacefully in the arms of Jesus. All of that is really okay with me. And I know it is the comfort that our family finds so helpful when we are personally or collectively in moments of sadness. But somehow I reason with myself that it's too early to feel accepting of his death. I just don't know how to deal with this part of it.
I say that he is my grandpa because he still is. I don't know any other man as my Grandpa Leon. There is no replacement and no stand-in. And I wouldn't have it any other way. ~ Of course trying to put into words what he means to me or all of the experiences we had with him is impossible. Perhaps I'll write about little things I remember from time to time. But my point is that he and my Grandma were instrumental in building our family. "Well, that's obvious," you say? Yes. It is. But they built a family of 10 out of two families with a parent and four kids ranging in age from 2 to 17. In the time that everyone has lived their lives my grandparents have councilled many people, seen many kids and grandkids get married, seen tragic loss, and built a church body from the ground up. They loved eachother so very much. And they loved their family. We are such a family that when Grandma and Grandpa both died I never once heard my mom refer to some of my uncles and an aunt as a "step-sibling". They are her brothers, and her sister... we are family.
I don't know where I'm going with this or how to end it. It just seemed time to post something and this is the most prevelant thing in my mind right now. ~You know, at one time I could say I had four sets of grandparents. They've all passed away now, but their stories are a part of my story. Maybe I'll post about them from time to time.
Please, take some time to tell the people around you what they mean to you. Don't take your family for granted, whatever your family looks like. If they are special to you, you should tell them.
- ► 2009 (18)
- ► 2008 (43)