Monday, January 12, 2015

Taps to Honor my Father-in-law

The greatest generation is dying off,  yet we knew this would happen. It's the natural order of life. Each death has been a remarkable loss, and worthy of noting, because with this generation goes an incomparable spirit of devotion and hard work.

Last week we buried one of their number, my husband's father, Wesley Newton Griffith, after his long and difficult two year journey with an enemy called Alzheimer's.

He grew up during the depression when living wasn't easy, then fought in the second World War. Part of his service to our country was in Oahu, Hawaii where he guarded ethnic Japanese who lived there on the island. The other part he served as a radio operator in a remote outpost on the island.

He returned home and tried to be normal after witnessing atrocities he couldn't explain and wouldn't reveal.

He and my mother-in-law raised three boys. They attended church on Sundays and put their faith into practice the other six days of the week. He worked long hours as an electrician in the tobacco factory and hurried home to work long hours in the garden before dark set in. He watched his children attain levels of education he was denied...because of poverty...because of war service.

He cheered for the grandchildren now that he was retired and could attend ball games, finally. He lost his beloved wife of over sixty years and worked through his grief in the garden and at his kitchen table studying his Bible lesson.

During the dark, lonely days of winter, he wrote a book. Handwritten. Fifty-seven pages. Took it to Staples where they printed four copies. When the grandchildren hinted they wanted copies, he returned to Staples and this time had a hard back edition printed. Ten copies. Limited edition.
The cover of his book featured their wedding picture
 August 1943
He titled it Favors, referring to Proverbs 8:35

 For who finds me, finds life and shall obtain favors of the Lord.

The service at the church fit him well. His children and grandchildren honored him by their mere presence. The country honored him with a military graveside ceremony. 

And then came Taps

Taps, the "All is well" reminder that we as a family so much needed to hear. Through our tears we said our final goodbyes to a great man, our final connection to this generation. 

"Well done, thou good and faithful servant." Matthew 25:21.

Catch of the day,