We buried Grandma a week ago.  They buried Grandpa almost a year ago without me.  Yes, that’s the Grandpa I mentioned earlier that died while I was on my “jubilee.”   These are Shane’s maternal grandparents.  Grandpa was 88.  Grandma was 92.  They were married for over 64 years.  And that friends IS lifelong love.  (And I feel like a mere babe after 21 years, comparatively speaking.)

Grandpa Ivan and Grandma “Dine” (Nadine)  loved God and served people.  And loved people and each other.

I was over at Holly’s place last week sharing our testimony of wilderness walking for 20+ years.  The last line on the post is “Over the years, we’ve realized that sometimes “small” is big”  Grandpa and Grandma lived small, but their reach was big.

I never remember hearing an aggravated tone in Grandpa’s voice, ever.  Maybe, towards the end, when Grandma’s memory was mostly gone, he’d get a smidge of a moments tension in his tone, but never a harsh word.

He was patient with everyone.

Grandma could figure out how to do anything. And there was always cookies or ice cream when you visited their home.

So could Grandpa. He worked smarter (although always slower)  and his work was impeccable.   We had a closet built by Grandpa once –it was a masterpiece.

Grandpa and Grandma both knew the value of a dollar.  Living through the Depression would do that to a person.  They reused, recycled and wasted little long before it was “popular.”  To illustrate, I remember once many years ago (16 or so) Grandma coming to Bible study at my house.  She brought her water bottle with her…it had once been a ketchup bottle.  The label was long gone but the shape gave it away.

Their bodies now lie together.  Just down the road from the place that used to be the family farm many years ago in Mount Ayr, Iowa.  Their souls are with Jesus. At the graveside,, we sang, “I’ll Fly Away”

We stopped by the local ice cream eatery on our way out of town for vanilla maple twist cones in honor of the day.  Shane remembers fondly the trips he’d take into town in the back of his Great Grandpa’s pick up truck as a young boy for ice cream at the same eatery.

Shane’s grandparents.  Whom everyone called Grandpa and Grandma showed everyone they knew HOW to make life long marriage more than  a reality.  Until they couldn’t any longer, they held hands and smooched like newlyweds.

They led a quiet life. They were just ordinary people, yet they were anything but ordinary.  Like most of us, they were unknown soldiers. They didn’t travel the world as missionaries, Grandpa wasn’t a preacher, they didn’t do anything “big”.  They lived in Iowa and the Kansas City metro all of their lives.

But, they loved.  Grandpa treated Grandma like a queen.  Grandma served Ivan as only she could.  And, they modeled Christ’s love to everyone they met.  That was their ministry, and their testimony.

You’ll be missed!


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