20 Years, Today

Posted by Michael La Framboise on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 Under: Meditations

November 15, 1997 to November 15, 2017

Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the death of my grandfather, Jerry Osborne. It seems both a moment and an eternity that I have been without him. I can still hear the sound of his voice. I can still hear the sound of his laugh, and the way he would even snort sometimes when the joke was funny enough. His mannerisms are still vibrant in my memory, as are his idiosyncrasies. The very last time I saw him alive was at the Los Angeles International Airport. He asked me to drive him and grandma to the airport so they could catch a plane back to their trip in Wisconsin, and their visit with my Aunt Janet. They had driven there initially, but were forced to return in haste for the funeral of a dear friend of theirs. Now they were headed back East, and would return by car to California. I pulled up to the curb, and took their luggage out of the trunk. It was just a quick drop and go. I didn’t go in to the terminal to see them off, although, it was the days before 9-11 and I could have walked all the way to the gate with them. I don’t recall if I hugged them goodbye. I don’t remember what I said to grandpa; but it was probably nothing more than have a nice trip, and I’ll see when you get back. I hope there was an I love you or two. I had spent so much time with grandpa that particular week. While he was here for the funeral he had my brother and I take care of so many little errands and odd jobs for him. He was always busy. So, as I quickly sent them on their way, it never crossed my mind that I would never see him alive again. I never imagined that within a few days I would be mourning over him at his own funeral. Bye, grandma; bye, grandpa! They were gone, and I simply drove away.

And now twenty years have gone by. I was freshman at Cal-State back then. Now, I’ve been married for 17 years, and my oldest son is a junior in high school. He’s almost as old as I was the last time I saw my grandpa. It’s been three years since I buried my grandma, and only a year and a half since we all went back to Kansas to place my dear Aunt Janet in the ground. There are three wonderful people waiting for me in Heaven, and as time goes by, their memory and their testimony speak such great and holy and mighty things to me.

When I think of grandpa, I think of the preacher. I think of a man who was ever about his Father’s business, who busied himself about the kingdom of God, who was a faithful steward of his King till his dying day. I think of a man who turned his back on the world, who lived as a true citizen of Heaven, and who loved the Savior supremely. I think of my grandpa, who made every holiday a treat with horseshoe play, home-made ice-cream, and divinity. I think of how he never turned his grandchildren down when we called him at the church on a Saturday and asked if he would pick us up on way home to Chino. I remember coffee in one hand, and the other on the steering wheel at six o’clock. I remember barbecued steak on a Friday night after mowing the lawn while he edged the grass. I remember quiet Saturday nights, as he sat with his sermon, and grandma rolled her curlers.

When I think of Grandma, I think of the piano player. Practicing on a Saturday afternoon, playing faithfully on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night for church. Playing those wonderful hymns in the way only she could. She used to say that her piano teacher told her to think of the lyrics as she played, and to bring that emotion into the song. “Look! There is flowing a crimson tide” never sounded so imperative and wonderful as when grandma would hit that chord and make you truly look as you sang the verse. I think of the woman who surrendered her life to the Lord at a Christian camp, and testified that she walked on air that night! I remember her vivid account of praying at the foot of the Cross until she could feel the drops of blood falling upon her. And her love for Jesus overflowed into her family. I can taste the pot roast cooking all day on her stove, and remember how good it was to when she would ask whether I wanted pancakes or french toast when I could barely open my eyes in the morning.

When I think of Aunt Janet, I think of a selfless and faithful handmaiden of the Lord. I think of a woman who loved God’s people, and who never tired- no matter how tired she was- in serving her Master as she served His Household. I remember no-bake chocolate Christmas cookies, as much as a boy could possibly ever eat. I remember treats on a summer night, with an old movie on the TV. I think of a dear woman who was ever ready to greet you with a smile and a hug. She even made my brother and I Superman capes when we were small! Such a sweet and loving lady, who left every place she was sweeter and lovelier than when she found it.


Oh, the dear ones in glory, how they beckon me to come,
And our parting at the river I recall;
To the sweet vales of Eden they will sing my welcome home;
But I long to meet my Savior first of all.

These three precious people await me, they await us in Heaven. And it is the Savior who makes it so. Truly the sudden loss of Grandpa was filled with sorrow upon sorrow, but The Master has removed Death’s sting by promising us an eternal reunion. Saying goodbye to my Dolly was painful, but the grave has been robbed of its victory, and the victory song is ours to sing in Christ! Having dear Aunt Janet stolen away was a shock to us all, but nothing can prepare us for the joy that awaits when she embraces us again! And it is all because of the Lord Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life! Jesus is the Master Jerry and Wanda and Janet served, and Calvary’s holy ground is the yet the place to give ourselves to the Savior as they did. The world was not worthy of them, and the gladly turned their backs upon it, as they walked with the Lord. This is their testimony to us who are left behind. Run the race to the finish, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, we must press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!

Waste not the time, for night is coming…

In : Meditations 

Tags: grandpa  jerry osborne  wanda osborne  dolly  aunt janet  heaven  run the race  20 years 
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