Wednesday, April 18, 2012


We went to Raleigh on Sunday to celebrate the life of Jeremy's Grandpa Bert who passed away Thursday at the age of 91. He lived with Jeremy's parents for the last 5 years, so we got to see him every time we went to Florence. He wasn't famous here on earth but I believe he was ushered into heaven with a roaring applause by the cloud of witnesses who cheered him on to live and finish well.

I have a theory that when our social filters fade, our true self is seen.

Grandpa Bert became a Christian much later in life and there's a story that Jeremy always loves to tell. When he was in World War II he had to have surgery in order to remove the shrapnel. As he was awaking from surgery, he needed to be restrained, for he was loudly yelling obscenities. Later in life, after becoming a believer, he had to have surgery once again. When he was awaking, he needed to be restrained, for he was loudly singing hymns. Praising God was a natural response for him.

Grandpa Bert later suffered from Alzheimer's and became much worse towards the end of his life. When we saw him at Christmas I was surprised at his digression. He was thin & frail, slowly shuffled from one place to another, extra hard of hearing and completely dependent on others for the basics of life. But what always amazed me is that Grandpa Bert's filters were steadily being removed and out of his unfiltered life proved a man who truly was sweet, generous, kind, thankful and Gospel-centered.

Jeremy was there when Grandpa Bert was being brought back home from the hospital for the last time. As he was laying in a fetal position and unaware of his surroundings, the nurses moved him a little and apologized as it caused him pain. This was the only time Jeremy saw Grandpa Bert respond to anything. His was response was a weak whisper, "praise Jesus."

The last word on his lips was Jesus. May that be said of me. Even if I lose my ability to think and function, may Jesus be so alive in me that He's given full reign to shine through. Just like Grandpa Bert, whose unfiltered, unhindered life is this example for us.

Because he had a well-lived life and we know he is totally restored, we enjoyed the time we had getting together with family. We stayed in Raleigh with friends of the family and ate, laughed and relaxed. Here are a few shots from our time.

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