Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Last Saturday and Sunday was spent with my extended family. Extended, as in 2nd and 3rd cousins that I haven't seen since elementary school. My grandpa was the last of his generation in the family, the last of the family to live in Iowa also, and so a grand effort was made to re-unite.

The whole weekend was a series of breakfasts and dinners and times to remember. It was very sweet and meaningful. Some hilarious things came up also, which I know that my Grandpa would have truly appreciated as he had a strong sense of humor.

The memorial service on Sunday was held in a quaint little Presbyterian chapel, but was held in a Quaker style since that is the tradition both my grandparents were raised in. Quaker services are very dignified. They are focused on quiet and meditation and also allowing the opportunity for anyone to stand and share what God has laid on their heart.

So a group of grandpa's friends from the nursing home came to the service and sat right behind me and my sister-in-law. Towards the end of the service during a pause, one of the gentlemen decided he would like to share a memory and slowly pulled himself up. How can I say this delicately? Into the waiting silence, he passed gas. I must say that I am so proud of myself for not falling off the pew in laughter. Honestly, I am not sure if he even knew it happened because he didn't skip a beat. But oh, it was so funny. And I have no clue what his memory of Grandpa was.

Another gentleman shared about how Grandpa in the early years of practicing medicine was well known for his home remedies. He was the town Dr. for 58 years and much revered. But there was one remedy that he took off his shelf, his cough syrup. Apparently it was made of half honey and then the secret ingredient was half scotch. A mother called him one day and said her son had been coughing and so she was treating him with grandpa's cough syrup, but he was reacting very strangely to the medicine. Grandpa asked how much she was giving him and she said one tablesoon every hour. Grandpa was horrified and told her it was supposed to be only one tablespoon a day. And that was the last of Grandpa's home remedy for coughs!

After the service, one of the older ladies came to us and said she had a memory but didn't think it was appropriate to share in the service. She said that one morning at the breakfast table in the cafeteria, Grandpa leaned over to her and with a twinkle in his eye said, "Let's start a rumor!" Apparently, after Grandpa was widowed he became prime prey for the widows at the nursing home. He never even thought of re-marrying but obviously was willing to enjoy a bit of a social life.

Grandpa was quite a person. And I am so thankful he is with the Lord and reunited with his family who are already home.


TJ Wilson said...

M-this is amazing. what a legacy from your granddad. love the cough syrup. glad you captured this tribute in words.

Kellie said...

Such a sweet post. I am glad you were able to be there.

And I may have to try that "natural" remedy the next time I get the flu.