The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Granddaddy's gift

Granddaddy Allison was no ordinary man. In my eyes, he was bigger than life. When Larry and I drove to his grandparents' little white farmhouse to say that we had finally become engaged after three years of dating, I'll never forget Granddaddy's reaction. His face broke into the biggest "I knew it all along" grin and he said, "Well, I guess we have a new granddaughter!"

We expected them to be happy for us, but it was more than that. In a split second I became family.

Granddaddy always entertained me with delightful tales of when he was a young father of two small sons. He told me about his life's experiences from the trials of farming and buying his first car to how to make lye soap or butcher a pig. He painted vivid pictures of a difficult but satisfying life chock-full of hard-won victories and painful human mistakes.

We always ended up talking about our faith in God. He would try his best to answer my endless questions, no matter how inane or trivial. Often he showed me in the Bible where I could find more to read on the subject.

Toward the end of his life, I told Granddaddy how much he meant to me each time I saw him. I never knew which visit would be our last.

I miss his playful dancing eyes, beaming smile and captivating stories. I miss our sacred visits, his loving guidance and prayers.

I learned invaluable lessons from Granddaddy. The most precious inheritance he gave me was a legacy of faith and love.


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February issue


Embracing diversity