Nearly a decade ago, I had the opportunity to watch my first Kentucky Derby—not in the whitewashed grandstands
of Churchill Downs but with my mom, sitting atop the floral quilt at the foot of her bed. We’d spent the
afternoon together, wandering through a garden nursery. My mom had mentioned she’d like to watch the race
and we had better hurry if she was going to make it home in time. As we’d driven, she proceeded to tell me
how my grandpa had always loved the Kentucky Derby and how, as a girl, she had visited Churchill Downs and
even toured the stables. It was a side of my mom I had not known until that day.
As we pulled into her driveway, she’d raised a single finger and cheerfully beckoned me inside to watch my
first Kentucky Derby. Despite my lack of enthusiasm, I had agreed, and a few minutes later we were watching
a magnificent procession of perfectly groomed horses, reminiscing about Grandpa and cheering for the
As the years have come and gone, the memory of that Saturday afternoon has become increasingly special to
me, and I recall it each spring with great fondness. Little did my mom know what a treasure she had revealed to me that day—a cherished
memory of her father—a precious glimpse into the unknown world of my grandpa. Oh, how I adored my grandpa. I loved his long, blue Buick and
his fancy driving hats. I loved his cheerful smile and his sparkling eyes. I loved his fun-loving nature and how he calmed Grandma’s nerves as we ran
up and down the irrigation ditch and climbed to the top of the apple tree. I loved watching him dig potatoes and burn leaves. I loved hearing him
play the harmonica, and I loved hearing him sing “Tiny Bubbles.” Most of all, I loved knowing Grandpa was a man of great faith. He walked in paths of
righteousness. He loved the Lord, and I knew it.
I remember the day he died like it was yesterday. It was tragic and very unexpected. I remember what I was wearing and where I was when I heard the
news. I was twelve years old, and had stayed home sick from school. It was my uncle’s birthday, it was springtime, and grandpas just didn’t die. Oh,
how I have missed him over the years.
Long after Grandpa and Grandma died, I was particularly burdened with some difficult personal problems, and I desperately needed peace. I found
myself driving up the hill on Wander Lane toward their house—half expecting to see Grandpa out working in the yard. Instead, I saw that the happy
yellow paint had been replaced by more modern taupe-colored siding, and the gigantic pine tree had been cut down. As I parked my car across the
street, a feeling of sadness surged through me. I sat for a long while imagining the house from my childhood, and then the sought-after feelings of
peace calmed my soul, so powerful was the lasting influence of my beloved Grandpa.
As we prepare to celebrate Father’s Day, I hope you will have occasion to reflect on the special memories and moments in your life that convey the sweet
influence of your father, your grandfathers, and especially the Father of us all—symbols of goodness, strength, and righteousness. I hope, too, that you
find those long-awaited moments of peace that will help bring you closer to that Heavenly Father who waits so eagerly to bless you.
ASSORTED FATHER'S DAY HOME ACCENT DECOR
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