Our heart goes out to the Grover family at the passing of our Uncle Bill.
He was 85 years old and certainly enjoyed a full life. He gets to see his
sister again (my mom) and son (Jimmy) along with other friends and
relatives that have gone on before. I just thought I would reminisce a
little bit about his life.
We seldom know or understand how much our lives affect other people. Most
of Uncle Bill’s life influence on me was when I was young. Once I
graduated from college I didn’t get to see him much but I always enjoyed
his sense of humor and openness. We all remember going to the Grover farm
and we all witnessed his life. I never saw Uncle Bill get angry or upset.
He always had calming words of encouragement. I never heard him speak evil
of anyone but he was always about his work and family. When my mom was
battling cancer and a tumor, his family was one that took us in when both
mom and dad were in the hospital. Whenever they had supper he would open
up his daily devotion book and have a word of prayer before eating. There
was nothing pushy or overbearing in it but just a quiet, dedicated faith
of a farmer.
I remember one time when my parents were in the hospital we were on the
farm for several weeks. One day he came to me and said, “Want to ride in
my new tractor?” “Wow!” was my response. What young boy wouldn’t want to
ride in a brand new John Deere tractor? It was a beauty too. It had an
enclosed seating area, complete with AC, radio, and lots of gadgets. It
was an exciting moment in my young life as we rode up and down the rows
plowing the fields that day. He didn’t say much but when he did you would
listen. I asked about why he liked to be a farmer. He answered that it was
just him and God spending the day together. He enjoyed growing things God
had created. He didn’t say much more but now that I am older I envy him
and the time he had out there.
After I came to China, I would use various family members to illustrate
points I made in teaching. When I did my two week presentation on
Christmas I had a picture of a sleigh and horse riding over the snow. I
would teach the students Jingle Bells and tell them how my Uncle Bill
would hitch up his sleigh and take us out for a sleigh ride. I would tell
the students that yes I have actually done the song, complete with the
jingle bells along with the hot chocolate and cookies afterwards. It is a
memory I have never forgotten.
Uncle Bill was a great organist and I used to love playing the organ in
his house, (when he wasn’t looking of course). He often would have all of
us sit and sing songs while we were there. I would guess my greatest
regret is that I didn’t get to see him much after I got older. I will miss
my Uncle Bill but I look forward to meeting him again along with the rest
of the family.
Thank you Uncle Bill for your faith and life,