The question of life’s meaning seems to increase its prominence in the minds of those who are past middle age. I’ve heard it said once that the motive to live kind of leaves you the older you get until you realize that it becomes a question of the generations coming after you; it becomes a question of legacy.
My grandpa, Dr. E. Charles Hendricks, died this morning. He was in many ways a man among men, conquering the world one country traveled at a time, learning more about more subjects than many are even able. What he did with all of this, his life, was to pass it on to the next generation. It’s as if he accumulated wealth of all kinds and gave…and gave…and gave. He prudently saved money for each of his 6 grandchildren to afford them a college education. He spent hours preparing lessons to teach us about art, music, economics, world history, geography to name a few. He looked forward in life and spurred us to do the same. He secretly conspired to bless us all financially arranging things for our benefit all while teaching us responsibility.
Beyond the accomplishments, he truly enjoyed them all! He relished the beauty of God’s creation. He celebrated each holiday with joy. He made a point to incorporate romance to simple family dinners by always lighting candles at the table.
He also endured much pain. Ever the strong man, he fought fibromyalgia with cheerful fortitude. Even in these last months, the nurses who tended him remarked how positive he was.
In an age where saving for the future seems archaic, hard work inconvenient, and a good attitude optional, you have to wonder, what will you leave behind? My grandpa lived out this Proverb:
Proverbs 13:22 “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.”
He was the good man who left an inheritance. He left us with a legacy of love, generosity, care for others, and a thirst for knowledge.
Grandpa, many times in these latter years, I was moved by the love God had for you. He heard the prayers you prayed for each of your children and grandchildren everyday. How tenderly He cared for you and watched over you, even in your deepest grief over the passing of your wife. You patiently loved her when she couldn’t recognize you. I love you for that, and I noticed.
Be blessed, dear Grandpa, be blessed. You are with your King and your queen. We will see you soon!