Did you have a good birthday? I hope they are throwing you a party up there in heaven, because seventy-five is a big birthday, and now that you’ve got a heavenly body and are completely healed of diabetes, you should be chowing down on as many doughnuts as you want–the regular kind, too, not those nasty sugar-free ones.
And coffee. They have coffee in heaven, right? Because I never got a chance to tell you, but I love the stuff, and I have you to blame. A couple spoonfuls from your mug at Smitty’s as a little girl, and I was hooked. I drink it black, too, and I love it.
By the way, Mom drinks coffee now. How weird is that? You’ve missed a lot the last 11 years.
You’ll be glad to know I went to college after high school. I didn’t end up studying architecture like you and I both thought I would, but I did get to go overseas for a semester with a bunch of architecture students, and I had a fabulous time. After I got back, I became friends this guy named Jason who’d also wanted to be an architect, but God had different plans in mind.
One night, Mom, Dad, and I were staying at your house with Grandma (our power was out) and Jason came over to eat dinner and play dominoes with us. You would have beaten him, I think, but he’s a good game player and fun to be around. Grandma realized that night that he was pretty special, and I felt the same way.
We are married now, and we have two boys: Caleb Charles (after you!) and Garrett Josiah. Jason’s a pastor, and a good man who loves the Lord with all of his heart. You’d like him. I know how important your faith always was to you; I can’t imagine how hard it was to leave everything behind when you came to know Jesus and your own mom kicked you out. So even though we are not architects, I feel like I am following in the legacy you left for me, a legacy I am so thankful for, and I’d like to think you’d be really proud of that.
Part of me wishes you were here to see us launch our church this fall, but I know that for your sake, it’s better that you’re with Jesus, healed and whole. But on September 9, I’ll be picturing you up there cheering us on. That is, if you’re not busy schooling one of the disciples at checkers.
Happy birthday, Grandpa! I love you.