Enjoying the Journey
Just a few days ago I had the privilege of being back where I grew up in West Virginia. It was refreshing to walk around my grandparents farm again and enjoy a meal that only mom could make just right. I walked the halls of the school that I attended from the time I was four until high school graduation, and spent an extra moment in the classroom where I first trusted the Lord Jesus as my Saviour. Memories are precious things.
My sister and I took a drive through the cemetery where all of our grandparents are now buried. I have never missed them as I do now. When we are young we do not fully realize the treasure that is in front of us. We spent a few minutes at the graveside of my preacher grandpa, Elden Pauley, and his faithful helpmeet. Her contagious laugh and holy joy are still fresh to me. Grandpa Pauley is known only by stories and photographs to me and my sister. Heaven’s reunions must be very special.
Stacie and I stood beneath the tree where Grandpa and Grandma Martin are laid to rest. It was a beautiful day like so many I had spent with them in the country. I would love to sit under the cherry tree in front of their house and just talk to them again.
As I turned to leave I noticed the extra marker at the foot of Grandpa Martin’s burial place, a reminder of his years of service in the United States Navy. He was at Pearl Harbor after the December 7 attack and helped with the cleanup. I remember him as a farmer. My mother remembers him as a coal miner and electrician. But during World War II he was a young man doing his part to defend liberty.
I never asked him enough questions about his military service, and he was never quick to tell of it. After all of these years I am grateful to say that my grandpa was a World War II Vet, part of “the greatest generation” that extended liberty to their children and grandchildren.
In a sense, I am remembering today two war heroes in my family. My grandpa Pauley spent his short life and ministry proclaiming liberty in Christ. My grandpa Martin quietly helped to provide freedom to another generation of Americans. Their wives, my grandmothers, supported them and kept them going. This is what I am thinking about on this Memorial Day. “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage” (Psalm 16:6).