|Norman (Papaw), Ida Lou (Mamaw) and my cousin Justin|
only recent picture I could find of my grandparents,
thanks Lisa for being the picture queen of the family!!
Jillian and I stopped to eat at McDonald's....wish that place would just go poof, so I wouldn't have to look at the calorie count that is now on their menus...and then we went to Wal-Mart. As I was walking up to the door, I thought, ok, I am going to go see my Mamaw and Papaw after I pick up the parts and I will just ask Matt to get Garrett from school. When I looked up to go in the door, who do I see standing there? My Mamaw and Aunt Carolyn! I was a bit out of place, since I normally am not in Bowling Green shopping, so Mamaw had trouble placing me...she blamed age, hmmm....what is my excuse then? Anyway, I told them I would wait in the front of the store and visit when we were all done! Papaw and my Uncle Bob were in the car waiting, so Jillian and I would get to see them all (and without the dreaded drive, or worry about not getting nothing done!!!) Isn't guilt a terrible thing! God took care of that for me today, He is so awesome!!
Mamaw and Papaw were as pleased as pie (can someone please tell me where that expression comes from?) to see me, but even more Jillian. Papaw's comment was, "This little girl gets more and more beautiful each time I see her!" Makes a moms heart melt, he is such a wonderful grand/great grandparent!!! They loved on her and we talked about happenings in life, quilts, Halloween costumes ( which I painstakingly made this year, hoping to save $$$, so wrong!), and politics. I loved visiting with them, but what I won't forget it that today is their 66th Wedding Anniversary! CONGRATULATIONS!
Wow, I really cannot imagine that! You know it is one thing to think that one day I will be in my 80's, but for some reason it is hard to think that I will have been married over 60 years when I am in my 80's. What an amazing testimony! And their lives truly are just that. Of course, I don't know everything about their life and marriage, but I do know that they have been through a lot more than a lot of us have or ever will. They put their trust in God each and everyday and He has brought them through the valleys and over the mountains!
The part of my grandparents story that I know, happened 13 years ago...in a span of 20 days they lost two sons, suddenly and unexpectedly. First was my father, Marvin, who died in an accident while working on an irrigation lake on our family farm. My dad and Papaw had farmed many years together and worked hard in the 80's so they wouldn't lose their family farm, like many did. They probably knew what the other thought and felt about most things and could finish each other sentences (unless that is reserved only for best girl friends!) In the wake of the loss of one son, they would experience it again. This time, it was my Uncle Kevin, who died unexpectedly. I can remember standing at my Uncle Kevin's visitation, just stunned. Yes, I had lost my father, much too early, and now my Uncle, and I was hurting, shocked and in disbelief, asking God, why? But my grandparents had lost two sons in just a few days...I cannot imagine their pain. Of course, back then I am not sure I could have even if I tried, because I myself was not yet a parent. However, now that I have my own children, I have a little bit of an inkling as to how they must have felt...because the natural order of life should be that parents die before their children, and for them, that order had been disrupted. Sheer pain and anguish, yet my grandparents were strong in their faith in Jesus, that he knew what He was doing and would comfort them. They were in a situation that, in generations that are younger than them, often tear marriages apart, but not theirs! I don't know if they ever asked why? or screamed at God that their circumstances were not fair and it really doesn't matter if they did or not. I can be sure that they never quit reading their Bibles, praying to their God, or giving thanks to Him in the hard times. They are some of the most faithful people I know, and I hope that some day, I will have their wisdom and trust in God.
I also hope that Matt and I will live to see our 66th Wedding Anniversary, and if we don't, I hope that it is because Jesus returns to find us faithful and take us home with Him!
66 years, can you imagine?!?! God is good, even in the hard times. No matter if you are in a valley or on a mountain top, remember that God is good. He is your Savior, your Comforter, your Friend, and He will NEVER leave you or forsake you. He will be there for all of your days, to set you free from your doubts, pains, fears and sin. Not just 66 years, but for eternity! Put your trust in Him and you can make it through anything!
Happy 66th Anniversary to Norman and Ida Lou Smith, you are truly and inspiration to me and I thank God for placing me in your family, to be your forever granddaughter. I love you so much, and I admire your strength and faith in God, thank you for being a great example to your family!