This is a picture of my roots. All but 2 of these precious people are enjoying the splendor of Heaven. Recently my Grandpa ( top left) lost another brother, he and his sister are the last ones walking this earth.
My Great Uncle Merle's death came after a sudden stroke, which left his sweet wife, children and grandchildren heartbroken. While they have clung to Jesus and rejoice in the reward awaiting his faithful service to Jesus, my heart hurts particularly for my Great Aunt. She had to release her dear husband to Jesus and I can only imagine after years of serving the Lord along side one another how incredibly difficult that must be.
As another one of my great Uncles joined the reunion in heaven, I'm saddened that my roots are slowly reaching to heaven. I am so grateful for this family of mine and what they have taught me. I am so thankful that I was able to get to know them, many of them as an adult. (I think my dad's family was simply too big to get to know my Great Uncles and Great Aunts, because there were only so many seats around the kitchen table.)
There is something about losing this generation that strikes a chord with my heart and pulls on my heart strings. I could sit for hours and listen to stories my grandpa and his siblings would tell about growing up on the farm. I wanted to soak in all their stories of a life much different than today's. They lived through hard times, grew stronger in their faith and as a family because of it. It took years of hard work to built back what they lost during the great depression but they did it. And eventually their hearts slowly healed, but forever were changed over the loss of their brother in WWII.
I learned the importance of giving to the Lord from this family, and remembering where you came from. Hospitality. Serving the Lord whole heartedly. A strong work ethic. And the importance of remembering where you come from.
So while our heart may be heavy, I'm rejoicing over how these roots have impacted my life.