Lee Wayne Mallory, 1922-2007
I am a private person believe it or not. I tell lots of stories and I have a blog, but when it comes to anguish or suffering, or doubts, I am very reluctant to let people in on those things.
This past week my Grandfather passed away. We went to his funeral this past Saturday and it was indescribable. It is the only time in my life where I have actually viewed suffering as a kind of gift. A bitter, bitter gift, but a gift nonetheless. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, 9 children, 26 grandchildren, and 48 great grandchildren. There were over 200 family members on the family side alone. The church was not big enough to accommodate all the people that were impacted by this wonderful man's life. They had to be seated in Sunday school rooms and people were standing in the back of the church.
My granddad wore overalls every day of his life. It was his signature. That is how his grandsons remember him. My sister snapped this picture of him one night after he was finishing some yard work before dark. When I went to visit him for the last time a few weeks ago his overalls were folded by the bed and I could barely stand it. He was a simple farmer with a huge heart, sensational sense of humor and a sharp creative mind. His farm is filled and decorated with things he made with his hands. When my grandmother hurt her knees and couldn't bend down to garden he built her a huge raised garden. He never lived a day in his life for himself. I could fill my blog with stories about him but I just can't. They wouldn't do him justice. All the grandsons were his pallbearers. We all wore overalls like his. He would have laughed and got a kick out of it. Especially seeing me in them.
My cousins are all pretty much rough and tough cowboys and farmers but when my grandmother came to his coffin to say her last goodbye, we all bowed our heads and wept. I have never seen or heard anything more painful than that. Her companion of 63 years was now with the Lord and everyone in that room was profoundly moved. She had been his since she was 15 years old. Her 9 kids huddled around her to comfort her. Honestly, I have never been so moved.
The only thing I can say is that I hope to live my life half that well. As far as this life goes, it can't end much better than being surrounded by all your family and loved that much. They just don't make em' like that anymore.
We'll miss you grandpa but we'll being seeing you soon.
Say a prayer for my grandma if you get a chance this week. Thanks.