My husband’s grandfather passed away this week. While I was not privileged to know him as long as others, I can see his life’s work in his family.
I can see it in his children. The duty and loyalty that led him to serve our country in the military is seen in his two sons and two daughters. Matt’s mother, Doris, is a nurse and has devoted the last three years to taking care of her father as he was in failing health. How sweet it was for him to be in the care, in the arms, of his loving daughter. He loved his family unconditionally and Doris felt honored to give back some of that love that he so generously gave.
I can see it in his wife. Sidney Roberts married Florence Cannon a day after Christmas in 1953 and were hardly ever apart from one another. Their love for one another was so evident, I saw it the moment I met them both. I felt it in their hugs and kisses.
I can see it in my husband. Grandpa Roberts’s life and his love for his bride Florence, are to thank for that; Matt grew up seeing that true love is a choice you make everyday. A choice to love no matter what; a choice to serve no matter what; a choice to put the other person above yourself no matter what.
This week I started thinking about this journey’s end on Earth, those we leave behind, and what we face ahead. I started thinking about my own grandparents’ funerals, the words that were said, and the hymns that we sang.
“In the Garden” was the hymn my grandma, Doris Wheeler Evans, wanted at her own service. She was a great lover of gardens, apprenticed with a florist in the early 1930s, and always had flowers on her tables and around her home.
As I have been drawn more and more to my own yard and flowers, she and that song have been more and more on my mind. Written in March of 1912 by C. Austin Miles it can be found in most any hymnal you pick up.
There is just something about being alone in the garden “while the dew is still on the roses.” It’s a place you can meet Him without our modern-life’s interruptions. The garden seemingly feels untouched by our rapidly changing world. From those that inspired this hymn in 1912, to the gardens my Grandma tended from 1930 on, to the small one I am working in today, they remain remarkably constant. They are still a familiar melody; the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
And, that is what real love is too. Today it is the same as it was yesterday; and with it comes the promise that it will be there again tomorrow.
That’s the love of Sidney Charles Roberts.
That’s the love his family continues to show.
And that’s the love Christ has for us.
I know Grandpa Roberts is enjoying the gardens of heaven.