Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Tribute To My Grandfather

On August 31, 2008 my Grandfather went home to be with the Lord.

Preston A. "Dutch" May was born December 5, 1915 as the only child of Daniel and Fannie May. His father left the family before he was a year old so he grew up in a single parent home where his mother worked as a domestic servant for a somewhat wealthy family. By the time he turned 15 the country was moving into the Great Depression and his mother's employers could no longer afford to pay for her services. As a result my grandfather was required to help support the family so he would travel to wherever there was work to be found, but always returning to the North East Ohio area where his mother lived.

On one of these return trips to Ohio he met and fell in love with a local girl named Verda Morris. They were married on October 6, 1940, and spent the next 67 years together. In my whole life I don't remember ever seeing one of them without the other one near by.

During WWII my grandfather enlisted in the Army and spent 2 years serving his country in the South Pacific. He was a very patriotic man and he loved his country deeply. After the war he was employed as a machinist, and he retired in 1981 after 30 years in this profession.

Not being one to just sit around, after his retirement my grandfather began a second career selling advertising; this was a job that allowed him to set his own hours, but more importantly it was something that my grandparents could do together. I am not exactly sure when they retired from this second career, but they were still doing this well after I was grown and had moved away from home.

Growing up, Sunday afternoon trips to my grandparents' house was a common occurrence. And if we didn't go there, it was a good bet that they would be coming to see us. We didn't see each other every weekend, but we saw them on more weekends than not.

The thing that I will always remember about my grandfather is that I never saw him in a bad mood. I'm sure that he had them, but I never saw one (unless you count that night that my sister and I stayed overnight at his house and wouldn't go to sleep - I guess he didn't like to be awakened by 2 noisy kids when he had to work in the morning). I'll also remember how he was always interested in everything I did, and when I became an adult and began my own career he couldn't have been more proud of what I was able to achieve.

Finally, I'll always remember the example that he set for me, an example of hard work, faithfulness to his family, and love for his God. He left some pretty big shoes to fill, and I will miss him greatly. But I know where he is, he is in Heaven with his Lord and he wouldn't come back here if he could. So I will remember all of the good times we had and look forward to the day when I will see him again in that place where there will be no more sin and no more sickness and no more death.

And as I close this tribute to my grandfather I would like to quote one of his favorite passages of Scripture (the one that he chose to be read at his memorial service) in the hope that you will rejoice with me in the salvation that we have in Jesus Christ. And if you don't know Jesus it is my prayer, as I am sure that it was my grandfather's as well, that today as you read these verses you will come to know that Savior that he loved.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
John 3:3-21(KJV)

So with that I say good bye grandpa - I'll see you soon.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was a beautiful tribute, brother.

We cherish the hope that we shall one day meet our loved ones again in the full joy that the Lord has promised to those who believe and love Him.