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Leaving a Legacy
Photo: Bill Davenport
My grandpa died today. It wasn’t unexpected. It hardly can be when someone is almost 95 years old. Knowing it’s coming, however, doesn’t make it any less significant.

With the exception of a two year stint as a ranch hand, Grandpa lived his entire life within 20 miles of the homestead where he was born. He went to high school for only one day. (The teacher never showed up.) So Grandpa chose to educate himself by voracious reading, keen observation and wise attention to life’s lessons.

Grandpa was smart about a lot of things. He was one of the first farmers in his area to practice crop rotation. He was independent and industrious. Other farmers went into debt to expand quickly, then experienced crop failures and hard times. Many of his neighbors went bankrupt. Grandpa knew it took not only hard physical work to “make a go of things,” but long rang planning and the discipline to live within one’s means.

Grandpa Saw Incredible Changes 

Grandpa saw incredible changes in his lifetime. He grew up in the days of horse and wagon transportation, when the Midwestern U.S.A. was still sparsely populated. He remembered well the excitement of his first auto—a good old Model T Ford. He remembered the Great Depression, the world wars, the advent of indoor plumbing, radio and TV, the first man walking on the moon.

He saw the invention of all kinds of electronic appliances and gadgets which have forever changed our society. He witnessed the rise and fall of myriads of famous people. He beheld the structures of home and family begin to crumble under the onslaught against traditional values and principles.

Through it all Grandpa lived…simply and honestly…a man of integrity who was true to his duty and “owed no man anything.” The legacy he leaves is the example of being a man who knew his value system and stuck to it unwaveringly, a man who knew how to earn a living by the sweat of his brow based on the intelligence behind it…a man who was faithfully devoted to one woman for 70 years… a man who knew his place with his Maker.

As I reflect today on Grandpa’s life I pray that I will leave behind a legacy that may, in some small way, mirror his.

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By Brenda Dickerson. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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