This past weekend we travelled down to Little Rock, Arkansas for the funeral of John's grandmother. It was a somber but also joyous occasion where we spent time with a lot of family and celebrated her life.
I didn't know his grandmother really well. However, a few things this weekend made a big impression on me. The biggest by far was seeing the impact this had on John's grandfather, who after 65 years of marriage, is now without his sweetheart.
I spent much of the weekend observing him at special moments, watching him as he interacted with family members. Listening to him say the family prayer before the funeral started. Listening attentively as he shared stories of their life together. I even was one of the few in the family who saw her as he kissed her and said a final mortal goodbye right before they closed the casket.
One of the things that struck me most deeply was the incredible love they have for one another. Even after her death he referred to her as his bride. They courted their whole marriage. Every day they said they loved each other, even when she was losing her mental capacity she still told him often of her love. They never went to bed angry. They have 91 (and counting) descendants which are a testament to their true and honest love.
The other thing that struck me so deeply was the enormous faith of John's grandparents. As John's grandpa said the family prayer before the funeral, he thanked God for receiving his love and taking her into his arms. He said he would see her soon. He was so confident he would be with her again. He was sad and I am sure now is so lonely, but he knows that they have an eternal family and that their love continues.
I hope that in my life I can leave even a portion of the legacy of love and faith by John's grandparents. I know that they will be together again. As I saw her frail body, she looked beautiful. And she looked ready to meet God. I know that one day I will be with them too, and I can get to know this fine lady a bit better. And above all, I know that it is through the atonement of Jesus Christ that we can one day live in the presence of God and be united with our families for eternity.
I am grateful for this knowledge and the peace and comfort it gives me.