We were driving home from a morning that turned out nothing as I had hoped. I closed my eyes off and on trying to catch a bit of sleep, since the night before sleep was scarce, and literally in the blink of any eye, my eyes were open and I saw along the side of the road in an open field.....a trail, up close to a barbed wire fence, probably ruts dug into the ground from a tractor's wheels going back and forth as the farmer drove from one part of his farm to the other. The first thing that entered my mind was one word....death.
Where had that come from?
What memory was triggered just from that briefest glance of a dirt worn path? Then, before I even realized it, my mind was full of thoughts of my maternal Grandfather.....Papaw. He was big and gruff with a huge heart and as I was the very first grandchild, he had an extra dose of love for me, as I did for him. He worked in the coal mines and my Daddy and Momma lived with him and my Mamaw until I was about a year old. Mom told me that when he would come home from work, all dirty and grimy and black from the coal mines, he would scoop me up, no matter what I was wearing. He was also a farmer and I recall fondly watering cattle and digging potatoes and killing hogs on a cold November day and little yellow and black chicks in coops in the back yard and fields being plowed and a granddaughter who dearly loved her Papaw chasing after him on the tractor with a mason jar filled with cool water to help ease his thirst.
Papaw and Mamaw would come visit us every Friday night.
As rugged as this man was, he would indulge his granddaughter as she pulled off his cap and combed his hair. I don't know where, or why that started, but I can still picture him taking that jet black comb from his back pocket and I took it and glided it gently thru his hair. Because he showed me so much kindness, I guess that's why I remember him so fondly. He loved popcorn and as soon as he got settled in his lawn chair in the yard, I would pop a dishpan full of popcorn and he would eat it down to the last kernel. He had an odd view of religion and the Bible and I will never forget his theory that the world was not round, it had to be square because in Revelation it talks about an angel sitting on the four corners of the earth!!!
Then...he got sick.
His lungs started filling up and he could barely breathe.
No more popcorn, because he was taken off all salt and who can eat popcorn without salt? He was in and out of the hospital so many times all during my high school days. One of those hospital visits resulting in him coming home on CHRISTmas Eve and I remember my Mom and Mamaw and Aunt hurrying around trying to get gifts wrapped so we could celebrate together. He was scheduled to come home on August 28, 1972. As I got off the school bus, the first day of my Senior year in high school, I was met in the driveway by my Daddy telling me that Papaw had indeed gone home....to be with Jesus!!
Isn't it just like our God to let something as simple as a worn out path thru a field bring back childhood memories!
But Mary (Deb) treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
In HIS Most Precious L♥ve....and with mine, too!!!