Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Paw Paw pics

Some words of welcome I gave before the funeral:

Today we gather to worship the Lord and to commend the soul of our beloved relative and friend, Bob Harris to the love, care, and mercy of Almighty God. I’m glad you have joined us on this occasion. It is a celebration of life--of the life Bob lived among us and of the eternal life that comes to us through our Lord Jesus Christ.

It seems so strange for me to call him “Bob”; I’ve always called him “Paw Paw.” I’m not his pastor, but his grandson, and it has been a privilege.

It was strange for me to read his age of 79 in the obituary, for you see, Paw Paw is only 54 years old. Why do I say that? Because back in 1983, my cousin Keely and I were riding with him down Line Avenue one day. I think one of us had recently turned 8, because she asked him, “How old are you, Paw Paw.” “I’m 54,” he answered. I said, “Wow, Paw Paw, that’s really old!” . . . (I have since increased in wisdom and stature).

It’s funny what things stand out in your memory. I remember tennis and I remember lumber and I remember playing pool (trying desperately to beat him). I remember that old Pontiac and how I could never figure out (when I was young) why he liked that old car when he had a perfectly good new car.

I remember Sunday mornings, going to the front door at First Baptist to see my other grandfather, Jack Matkin, who usually had a peppermint Life-Saver waiting for me. And then going into the sanctuary, about half-way up the right aisle, to get a program and a smile from Paw Paw.

I remember his laughter, and the twinkle in his eye. I remember all the times he took me to get a haircut. I haven’t really found a barber shop I like since then. I also remember all the “haircuts” he gave me by rubbing his knuckles on the top of my head.

As time passes, there are some things about a person that you remember and some things that you just don’t remember. One great blessing can be that when things are all said and done, one can only remember the good things about someone.

I remember about a month ago, when my wife and I crashed his honeymoon, Paw Paw showed us around the most wonderful hardware store. We found a few cute toys for our unborn daughter Madeline.

I remember later sitting across from Paw Paw in a restaurant as Maw Maw tried to get him to eat. The gumbo was good, but he didn’t want desert. Maw Maw ordered key lime pie. “Two spoons, in case Bob wants some too.” I'm not sure Maw Maw got a second bite before it was gone, and she was happy about that.

It’s funny the things you remember . . . And when he got to the point where he couldn’t remember so well, all of you remembered for him. And now we remember him today before God.

Of course, the central ritual of the Christian faith was commanded with the words, “Do this in remembrance of me.” It was spoken by the Lord Jesus, the night before his death. One way we worship God is to simply come into his presence and remember one another. And so we do today. Let us pause for a moment of silence.

No comments: