With a tender heart I sit here thinking of a way to write this next sentence. The Lord welcomed home one of His good and faithful servants today - my grandfather and my mom's father, Al Green. He suffered a massive stroke yesterday and died peacefully this morning with his precious bride and my aunt Gay by his side. Family members from all over the country are making their way home to say goodbye. Please pray for us as we spend the next few days together to cry, to say goodbye, and also to celebrate a life very well lived. Please especially remember his wonderful wife Madelyn in your prayers. They have spent the last eight years together fiercely in love and having great adventures.
Curtis asked me about some of my favorite memories of my grandpa and I'd like to share my answers with you. I'll just go ahead and tell you right now that I call him Daddaw. I know it's weird, but it was my first word. Okay, now I can get started. When I was a little girl, Nanny and Daddaw had a big backyard with a huge vegetable and flower garden. Somehow Daddaw managed to build a relationship with a swamp rabbit who regularly visited their garden to nibble on Nanny's plants. He would go on the back porch and whistle and call out, "Thumper!" Sure enough that big ole bunny would come bouncing into the back yard. He would even let Daddaw hold him and feed him carrots. As an animal lover, watching that happen was one of the thrills of my childhood.
My very favorite memory was from the time Daddaw let me tag along with him to a soup kitchen. My dad had killed an elk that year and our freezer was full of more meat than we could ever eat. We loaded the meat into the car and took it to a place where Daddaw regularly served called Loaves and Fishes. It was such a neat experience to feed the homeless with my grandfather. I loved seeing him serve so selflessly and diligently. I will never forget how the other men treated him with so much affection and respect. I knew he was a big part of their ministry. I got the same feeling yesterday when I sat in his hospital room and visitors were streaming in and out to love on him and Madelyn. They are both so well loved.
The thing I will take most from my grandfather's legacy is that you never retire from serving the Lord. He served with all his might until the end of his life. He was always willing to take any opportunity the Lord presented. That is something I would like to keep in my heart and remember. One day, God-willing, when Curt and I are old and gray and the only expectation the world has of us is to retire and do whatever we please, I want to remember my grandfather's example. I want to be completely poured out on my last day.
Thank You, Lord, for giving me the chance to know my Daddaw. Thank You for the souls he fought for and the blood he shed in World War II and Korea, for the family he raised, for the church members he loved, and for the underprivileged he served. And thank you for all the memories.