Today, I saw God in the memories of a person who I never met, but whose privilege I had the honor of officiating at this morning. Before putting together the service, some family memories had sent me some reflections on the man who had died, and the portrait they painted, of a rugged stonemason and caring person who was always leading the charge in helping wherever it was needed warmed my heart.
Recently, my Grandmother died, and I received a list of memories from my cousins and aunt and uncle. I really enjoyed reading these memories of Grandma, and also sharing many memories at her funeral. The love that she gave to everyone lives on in us, and it lives on in the stories and memories we share. So, just a few memories of Jean Peterson:
-She took me out for my first piece of pie, I'm barely old enough to remember, but we went to St. Charles and I had banana cream. It was really good.
-Grandma helped us out a lot when my mom was sick and after she died. When Grandma was around though, it was always equal parts work and play, with the work happening first so then we could play. And Grandma outworked us all.
-Grandma always kept us informed on our other family members, and was always up to date on what everyone was doing.
-Grandma didn't like it when her grandsons and Grandpa would give each other a hard time. She really didn't like the time we were playing euchre for quarters, especially because it was the day before Easter.
-One phrase Grandma always said was, "what's the difference." She said this because having a good time with children was much better than making sure that nothing ever got used or broken.
-Grandma's bible was well-used, and she sent "Our Daily Bread" devotionals to us. I don't know how many other grandparents did this, but it's one thing my wife and I held in common when we first met. (Her grandmother sent them out too.)
-Grandma took a bunch of us on a trip to the Grand Canyon, we had a wonderful time and shared many laughs. We stopped in Las Vegas for a couple of nights and the cousins spent a day at a great water park. Grandma spent the rest of the trip begging us to tell others about all the other places we'd been besides Vegas.
-In Las Vegas, the grandkids were trying to get Grandma to put a quarter in the slot machine, and she refused. She told us that in her younger days, she was in a casino at a slot machine, and it dawned upon her that if Jesus walked in she might not be able to stop and talk to him, so that's why she stopped.
-It was pretty standard to come home from school to find Grandma and Grandpa at our house on a Thursday or Friday once football and wrestling season started. They did only live 5 hours away.
-Grandma worked hard to learn how to use email when it came out, and we got many, many emails.
-Grandma cared deeply for everyone, wanted everyone to get along, and was a testament to the love that God has for all people, and through the lives she has touched with this love, still is.