I’ve been thinking about my Grandpa a lot these past few days. My heart is heavy, but my mind is flooded with memories of my youth, much of which was spent on his farm.

I don’t have words to express the effect my Grandpa has had on my life. He taught me many things, including the value of hard, honest work. When I think of how a farmer should best steward that slice of creation entrusted to him, I need only think of my Grandpa.

He kept a beautiful farm, which produced more than enough for his large family. But the greatest credit to his life is not the farm, as wonderful as it was, but rather is the family it sustained.

Grandpa was the head of a family that loved like it worked. It was a family that could have excluded me in certain ways, without violating any social convention. But I, like many others, was received into that family without reservation or condition. That family—his family—my family, is his monument. His daughters, my mother and my aunt, have sacrificed their comfort and leisure to care for him, and to enable him to spend his final years in the peace of his own home, under the care of his own children. I don’t think children raised by him and my saintly Granny, may she rest in peace, could have done otherwise.

I will always remember my Grandpa laughing, joking, teaching as he worked. I only wish I had been a better student.

Love Wins