A blessing even in death

Aren’t grandparents just the cutest? I’m not talking about “new age” grandparents. I’m talking about grey-haired, perfume wearing, pie making, go-on-a-long-stroll type of grandparents.  This was mom’s parents and they were married for 72 years. They were the most kind-hearted, God-honoring people I’ve ever met. And oh, did I mention, they died 3 days apart and never knew that the other one had passed away.

My grandparents and their young family in the 1940's

My grandparents and their young family in the 1940’s

In his youth, my grandfather was a preacher and delivered milk for Purity Maid.  He was retired from preaching by the time I was a youngin’. I remember him as a farmer and I LOVED summers at my grandparents. They grew and sold flowers and people from all over their small county would stop and purchase their grown-with-love plants. Everyone loved my grandparents. I think some people just used buying some plants as an excuse to stop by and say hello. They were those kinds of people.

My cute grandmother who wasn't too proud to rock rollers and sell plants!

My cute grandmother who wasn’t too proud to rock hair rollers and sell plants!

The variety of plants for sale at my grandparents house

The variety of plants for sale at my grandparents house

My grandmother was the ultimate grandmother. She could cook Betty Crocker under the table and sing hymns while doing it. She crocheted. She let me “cook” in the kitchen. She could shoot a BB gun. She gave the best back rubs. She was a champion checker player (in my eyes anyway). She loved picking wild blackberries along the road during our long summer walks. She called me “bubbles” and used to mail me dollar bills when I was in college. I could go on and on and on.  Personally, I like to think that I’m her “mini me”.

My grandparents had their share of adversity in life. Their son, who suffered from seizures, fell out of a tree when he was fishing and drowned when he was 19. I can’t imagine losing a child, but my grandparents held no resentment to God for such pain. They loved Him with all of their hearts. When I would have sleepovers with them, we would all 3 kneel at the bedside to pray (my grandfather would do it). I remember it fondly now, but at the time, I probably groaned in my head. You see, my grandfather was a bit long-winded. To this day if someone says a long prayer before a meal, we’ll say “That was a Bob Stark kind of prayer”.

The years passed and my grandmother suffered from a heat stroke while outside one day in the garden. It affected her gait and required physical therapy for years. We would do exercises with her too with green bean cans as her weights. She was so cute.  It was during this time that the decision was made for her to begin wearing pants and I know it broke her heart. Her speech was also greatly affected by her stroke and it never returned to it’s full capacity. Even through this storm, she kept her positive attitude. I know that she is responsible for planting the seeds of Jesus’s love into the hearts of her therapists, doctors and care takers.

My grandfather, who suffered from heart failure and kidney failure in his later years, would tell his nurses (and anyone who entered his room for that matter) about Jesus.

They died 3 days apart unaware that the other one had died. She was in a nursing home with end stage colon cancer and he was in the hospital with kidney failure. They are a big part my testimony. I don’t think it is coincidence that they died 3 days apart. Jesus was crucified and 3 days later was raised to life. God blessed them even in their last moments on this earth.  Wow.

——————————

Matthew 20:18-19

…They will condem him to death (19) and turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the 3rd day he will be raised to life.

—————————–

 I can only imagine what a glorious reunion they had in heaven. I can’t wait to see them again. Their lives continue to be a blessing, even in their death. What tremendous lives they lived for Christ.

My grandparents in 2006 (my grandfather always had his pad of paper and pen in his pocket. So cute.)

My grandparents in 2006 (my grandfather always had his pad of paper and pen in his pocket. So cute.)

-Remember to liveHislove

Missy

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8 thoughts on “A blessing even in death

  1. Missy,

    What a wonderful tribute to your grandparents! I say amen to everything you said. They always had the best garden. One day I was walking and told Mr. Stark what a great garden he had and he replied that he had a great partner and when I asked who it was he said, God. He gave God credit for every good thing just like we all should.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This post makes me want to smile and cry at the same time. My grandparents were also amazing, Godly people that others were drawn to. I cannot imagine what my life would have been without them. I miss them incredibly and can’t wait to see them again in heaven.

    Like

  3. I always enjoyed going to the Stark’s. They were wonderful people and raised wonderful kids. Thank you for sharing this. I didn’t know their ending on earth but they are enjoying listening to Jesus’ stories
    From now thru eternity.

    Like

  4. I loved reading this story. I remember the Starks coming to Perseverance Chapel when I was a child for revivals. I always enjoyed seeing them and their daughters. I’m sure they made a positive difference in many people’s lives sharing the love of Jesus to them! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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