On June 28, 1885, my Granddad, Edward King was born in Wetzel County West Virginia. Tomorrow, will mark what would have been his 128th birthday.
Not many people my age can say they had a grandfather who was born in 1885! Here we are in 2013, and my grandfather reached all the way back to one generation removed from Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. Granddad started a family later in life. He wasn’t married until a few days short of his 41st birthday.
I have such good memories of Granddad, I just thought I’d share a few.
- I enjoyed listening to him tell of “working on the railroad” when he was but a boy. He carried water to the workers. He also shared memories of some of the men being murdered for their paychecks. It seemed like a different world when he would tell those stories.
- Granddad and Grandma farmed and worked a garden. Well into Granddad’s 80’s, he was still mowing his yard with a mower on which you had to manually wrap the pull cord to get it started. As a boy, I remember being exhausted by the time I got the mower to run! I would wonder how in the world my elderly granddad could mow that large yard.
- I remember my granddad taking me fishing in the creek behind their house in Reader, WV.
- I remember piling into his 1960 (something) Ford Falcon and him driving us to church when we would visit. I don’t think he ever got above 25 m.p.h.
- I remember him sitting in his easy chair and his well-worn Bible on the lamp stand next to his chair. I used to flip through the pages to read all his notes and markings.
- I remember granddad hung a swing from the rafters in the basement of their house so my sister and I could have a swing to play on when we came to visit.
- I can remember how carefully he would open his Christmas presents. He’d take out his pocket knife and carefully cut the tape, fold the wrapping paper back up so that it could be used again. I remember just wishing he’d hurry up!
- I can remember the grimacing look on his face as he would carefully run his comb through his hair. He suffered from shingles for many years.
- I remember exploring his little tool shed and his garage. He had tools that were unfamiliar to me. A plow that was to be pulled by oxen, sickles, and gadgets that I still don’t know what their purposes were.
- I can even remember the smell of their house, though they sold that house more than 30 years ago.
I’ve been blessed to have grandparents on both sides of my family who loved and served the Lord and who lived long enough to make an impression on my life. Granddad was 98 years old when he died. It doesn’t seem possible that he’s been gone for 30 years. It seems like yesterday that my sister and I used to sit on his porch and count the color of the cars that would pass by (that’s what we did for fun). But reality says otherwise. James was right. Our life is but a vapor that appears for a short time and then vanishes away (James 4:14).
Tomorrow, I’ll remember my Granddad’s birthday which took place 128 years ago, and I’ll do so with renewed zeal to number my days (Psalm 90:12), and to look forward to, with anticipation the great reunion that will take place in heaven!