Archive for May, 2012

The blessing called – My Grandfather


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Eventhough those of us left behind feel a big vacuum where Grandpa once was, and miss his presence every moment, I am assured that he is happy in heaven because Precious in the eyes of God is the death of his saints. God satisfied him with long life and called him home when it was the right time.

He was a wonderful person-always soft-spoken, kind, serving and forgiving. Though he had flaws like everyone they were never to hurt or harm others. He lived a balanced life giving importance to practical living as well as spiritual life. He was always interested in other’s welfare and made it a point to visit them and when he was confined to home, he always kept in touch with friends and relatives through phone (endless were the calls which would stretch for hours and I so miss the sight of him walking slowly to the phone and picking it up and occasionally asking us to keep quiet in his very style) – he even found jobs and arranged marriages for many relatives.Going back some 20 years I remember how he used to take us grandchildren for Sunday school classes and on early morning walks to church in Zionhall, Vacation Bible classes, Child Evangelism camps, music classes and also my favourite memory of when he walked us to school and back. He not only took us to these places but also waited patiently for us till the classes got over at some of these places.The familiar strains of a devotional song come to my mind which he sang to put us to sleep. As a Sunday school teacher he engaged us little ones’ attention by showing us maps of the places mentioned in the Bible and thereby linking our knowledge of the Bible and our interest. I can so vividly remember one year when I was his sole student in our scarcely populated Sunday class and we plowed through the chapters patiently.Even more fondly I remember his hobby of keeping hens and how I used to trail behind him to watch him collect the eggs and feed the hens. But I only had the chance to hear stories about his pet goats and I feel I would have loved to look after them with him.

From our younger days I remember how he was always busy making something or other and my favourite memory is the ball he used to make for me from the coconut leaves and also the very favourite hand-held fans. He also loved to do scrap booking and he was always the first to encourage our artistic talents. He so loved my oil paintings and wanted me to do them for the church.

He taught me (and us) games like chess, draughts, checkers and even a star game which he introduced to all of us. I remember how even last year at age 92, he was able to beat me at draughts. He was always asking one of us children to play indoor games with him. He used to play Sudoku till his very last days of health.

Grandpa was most disciplined in his personal life. Wise in all his dealings, I remember him as a good steward of all that God gave him. He strictly set apart time everyday to read the Bible and devotionals early in the morning and I always watched him do that, with admiration. He also used to pray for everyone who had met him at least once. And now I long for that kind of commitment and dedication.

Grandpa loved food. I remember how he enjoyed his every meal till the last when his body could no longer take it, and there was not one time that he sat at the dining table when he forgot to give thanks to his Provider before eating. I remind myself every time I suffer from eating disorders to remember my 93 yr old grandfather enjoying his food with gratefulness.

I remember now how miraculous his recovery was, from his near terminal illness, being admitted in the hospital for 2 and half months. But with the prayers of his innumerable friends , loved ones and acquaintances, and his own will to come back, he was back at home and as smart as ever except that he was confined to bed. How he used to enjoy home-made delicacies even then !!

He was a man so determined in all that he set out to achieve that he could carry out his plans as and when God enabled him. I love to term him as a scholar because he loved to read and collect knowledge ranging from politics and social sciences to science and the medical field and he loved to engage those who were interested in those fields in conversation.

The number of Christian magazines he read was remarkable. And he was always upto date on the latest news. Even on those days when he was bed-ridden, he used to ask about the latest happenings especially those which concerned family members. All who knew him admired his scholarship and many are the notes and thoughts he has scribbled on papers and books. He was always interested in learning new things and I believe he was always young at heart wanting to master the latest technologies and gadgets, more than the younger generations.

He hoped and dreamed for us grandchildren more than we did for ourselves. He always had suggestions on how we could be better in our respective fields. He took interest in our works and individual subjects by reading about it and encouraging us to take up good positions. He gave all of us advices from his experience, told us about his life choices and how he gave first preference to God. Many anecdotes from his past – his spiritual life, habits, office life, hobbies – were always rich and amusing to me.  I have heard stories from him about the independence days when Gandhiji and Indira Gandhi visited south Kerala. I have heard stories of his wading through marshy paddy fields to school and also how he used to cycle 30kms daily to work or shops and come back and do a bit of farming too. Till the end his well-built body was strong and told of the hard work of those days of sweat and toil.

Looking back at all this, I see how God blessed him thrice with all that he had wished – good health, wisdom, children and grandchildren and an extraordinary memory till his very last breath. When I see the name Abraham I think, God honoured him because he gave first place to God and he ran his race faithfully without missing a beat. He feared God and was wondrous of his love that he lived the gift of life thankfully to the very end. His passion for life was rooted in God and his steadfast faith and fulfilling life saw him safe to heaven as peacefully as he had wished to go. He did his part in ushering in the Kingdom of God, for a long ninety three years- a prayer he had prayed and lived. And today it is the faith of our grandparents which has been passed on to us – to do our part in the Kingdom of God. And the good memories he has left us, is one transcending the boundaries of time and life.

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