How can it be 4 years already? In some ways it seems like just yesterday we were lined up watching the casket go down. In some ways it seems that it’s been so long the memories are fading. I hope you’re having an amazing time up there. I hope that each day as you spend time with Jesus, and the other ones we’ve lost, that you have joy. Because we have bittersweet joy…we know that you are there, praising Jesus as only Mahlon can. That is what brings us joy—because we know your spirit lives on—your spirit was full of life, and we know it is even more so in heaven. The bittersweet comes from the hole you left here.
I remember so many things about you, and it seems like they’re all just swirling in my head as I sit here thinking. I remember especially your love of John Deere. Anything John Deere you loved, and often when we’d come over during the winter, there you were….sitting at the table doing a John Deere puzzle. Your house shelves were filled with your precious tractors, and they were collectibles, not to be played with. 🙂 I didn’t have the privilege to work with you on the farm, but I know you loved what you did on those tractors. The morning you left us (if my memory serves me correctly) my last vision of you was on a tractor, happily waving to me as I passed you on my way to school.
I also have fond memories of your love of sweets. Grandma tried to tell you not to eat so much but you still snuck it in when you thought she wasn’t looking. I remember lemon drops at “Grandpa’s house” and I wonder if it was as much you as it was Grandma.
I remember how you drove your ‘red truck’. And even now, I can still see you—both hands on the wheel, squinting because of the sun, fully concentrated on what you were doing. I want you to know I drive “your truck” sometimes. I love it, and I wonder if it’s maybe because it holds memories of you.
I think of how many times we walked in, and there you were, conked out, sleeping…or so we thought. But there was a phone propped up by your ear, listening to your favorite news channel—The amish chatline. So many things you found out, that you told dad came through there, and you loved listening in on it as often as you could.
I remember your sense of humor. I remember your mischievous side. I remember you had a good attitude on life. It seemed nothing would bring your spirits down. I remember you almost always had a half smile coming from the corner of your mouth.
I remember how even though as you got older, and things weren’t easy for you, you didn’t like to sit around. You tried to keep up with dad on footers as long as you could, until it just got to be too much. Then you stayed home and drove tractors in the field, or puttered around in the shop. As long as you were doing something, you were happy!
I remember you had the light of Jesus shining from you. I believe everyone who met you walked away feeling they had a friend in you. I believe they could see Jesus living in you. I believe everyone who met you was blessed from knowing you………..I know I was.
I remember that when your hearing started failing you, it didn’t seem to bother you. You turned your good ear toward whoever was speaking, and if you still didn’t hear it all, you put on a small smile to make them think you understood. I’m glad that in heaven you can hear EVERYTHING that’s going on!
I remember that we didn’t expect you to go like this. Your high blood pressure was a concern to Drs. and they worried about a stroke because of it. We never planned to let you go….especially without good-byes. It doesn’t seem fair. It doesn’t seem fair that you didn’t see many of your grandchildren married. It doesn’t seem fair that you didn’t get to watch many of your sons become grandpas themselves. It doesn’t seem fair that you didn’t get to see your first great-grandson that would carry on the Eash name. It doesn’t seem fair that you left us doing something you did every day.
But I remember also, how you hated holding still. (Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m just like you in that) Had you had a long hospital stay, you would’ve been itching to get out of there. Perhaps you would have even pushed yourself too far. I know this was God’s plan, even though it still hurts. It hurts especially now…during holidays. When the family gets together, there’s a hole. A grandpa sized hole. It doesn’t seem right for you not to be there. We miss you, and there are lumps in our throats as we think of you. We wonder how Christmas is spent up there, and wonder if it’s any different that any other day. We think it’s not fair you get to spend time in the presence of the One, when we give presents in honor of the One born so long ago.
So, Grandpa, as the holidays pass once again, we miss you some more. We realize time passes, and hearts heal. We realize that our hearts and family will never be whole again. We won’t be whole until we are all face to face with Jesus. I remember how this was a prayer of yours. So know as you are praising our Saviour this Christmas season, know we miss you. Know we love you. Know that you will always be in our hearts. And know that through all of this, we believe God is good. We remember God is faithful and will take us through it, because He brought us to it.
WE LOVE YOU,
all your grandchildren,
your wife, children,