Keep Looking Up!

Posted by Michael A La Framboise on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 Under: Meditations
[Actually posted on October 25, 2010]
It was dark, pitch black, as we drove through the mountains. Only a toddler, I stood between my grandparents and exclaimed, “Speeky, Grandpa, speeky!” But all was well with him at the wheel. I had no reason to be afraid with Grandpa there, and for the rest of my life I looked up to the man who saw me safely through  those scary mountain roads.

As a boy, I would sit with my mother in a church pew on Sunday nights and listen to Grandpa preach. Sometimes I would draw pictures of him behind his handcrafted wooden pulpit; sometimes I would lay my head on Mamma’s lap an nod off while he proclaimed the Gospel, only waking as “Just As I Am” began to play during the invitation. Grandma at the piano and Grandpa in the aisle. For the rest of my life I looked up to man who preached Jesus and Him crucified.

I remember when I was a teenager, Grandpa preferred to have me at the soundboard during church services. There was a certain way he wanted things done, and I was the guy for the job. Before church I would arrange the microphones, organize the wires, and perform sound tests to make sure all was to Grandpa’s liking, then I would sit in the enclosure which contained all the sound equipment, and monitor the sound needs of the service. One day I was late, and when I arrived someone else was running the soundboard. I didn’t think it was a problem, so I found a seat and sat down. However, it was not very long before Grandpa swooped down from his platform and replaced the well-meaning young man with his grandson. The reason was no secret to me: Grandpa knew I would do things the way he liked without argument or hesitation. For the rest of my life I looked up the man who entrusted me with his confidence.

When I was granted my driving permit, Grandpa was the one who first took me onto the freeway. He would ride shotgun with me at the wheel. “The CHP would frown upon that”, he said nonchalantly one day when I moved over two lanes at once. Grandpa himself was known for driving at excessive speeds on occasion, and was never one to look down on the offensive driving of another. He also helped me restore the vehicle which became my first car. We spent hours and hours together on the road and under the hood.  He taught me the rules of the road, and gave me an example to follow on the road of life. I looked up to the man who spent so much time teaching me and helping me.

In the early nineties, The X-files became the sci-fi sensation of the decade. The first episode aired on Friday night, September 10, 1993; and I was sitting right next to Grandpa when that now famous but eerie music first whistled through the television. It became our weekly ritual. We would sit in our recliners with heaping bowls of Rocky Road ice-cream, anxious to see what unexplained phenomena Mulder and Scully would be called on to investigate. Once, as Grandpa and I were breathlessly anticipating the revelation of some heinous creature, Grandma turned the channel just at the climatic moment! She couldn’t bear to see it... whatever it was. Quickly we shooed her out of the room and turned it back as fast as we could. We laugh about that often in the years to come. For the rest of my life I looked up to the man who spent time with me watching The X-files, bridging a generation gap of 51 years to foster a relationship with me.

November 14 was a Friday in 1997. As an eighteen year old college kid I still enjoyed going up to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, about 30 miles away from my hometown of Norwalk. I returned home on Friday night to hear that Grandpa had driven he and Grandma home early from vacation. I quickly decided that I would head up to their house and spend the weekend with them; but my mother convinced me otherwise, since Grandpa really wasn’t feeling very well, which was why they had cut the vacation short. The next morning my brother, very worried, informed me that Grandpa was in the hospital. I calmed my brother and assured him that everything would be fine, but as the two of us made our way into the hospital waiting room we were greeted by a somber sight of tears and sorrow. A few moments passed before grandma broke the silence: “He’s gone, boys.” The words were too shocking, the event too sudden, the sensation too surreal. He was Gone.

Today Grandpa would have been 82 years old. It’s been thirteen years since I last drove with him, since I last enjoyed a bowl of ice-cream with him, since I last heard him preach a sermon. But I keep looking up. I continue not only to look up to his great example, but I keep looking up for the Savior who promised to reunite us one day. “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall we ever be with the Lord.” The Day of the Rapture will be a thrill indeed for those of us who have such precious treasure already waiting in Heaven.

Grandpa loved to sing the old hymn “Victory In Jesus”, and I’m sure looking up and looking forward to the day when Grandpa and I can sing about the Old Redemption Story together, as we gather ‘round the Redeemer Himself! We’ll surely shout the Victory when the Last Enemy is destroyed, when Death no longer has power over us... when Death can no longer separate us. As the hymn declares with Faith’s confidence, so do I envision myself standing beside my dear Grandpa, his arms around me and his baritone voice bellowing: And some sweet day I'll sing up there the song of victory!

Richard “Jerry” Osborne
October 25, 1928 - November 15, 1997

In : Meditations 

Tags: jerry osborne  death  love  loss  grief  grandpa 
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