It is very rare that I take the time to stop and write on a weekend. I find it important to give myself Saturday and Sunday to step away from my computer and fully engage in every day life. But this week…I wanted to celebrate a great man. My grandfather. He passed away on Thursday and I want to dedicate this time to him.
Lawrence K. Coyle was born on a farm in Ohio in 1928. He passed away in Ohio in 2011. He was a father of 4, grandfather of 15 and great grandfather to 11 (with 3 more currently on the way!).
My grandpa was a constant letter writer. This is my last open letter to him.
As you prepared to take your final breaths I have sat thinking about you. Your life, my life and all that I have gained from our relationship. I am blessed for all the many things that you have given me.
Silence. I have learned by watching you that actions speak louder than words. The time you spent working with your hands sitting side by side with your friends. The hours you spent in the garden and mowing with your grandkids. The months you spent working to restore player pianos as you listened to the radio. Your silence taught me that listening is just as important as speaking.
Service. I have learned by watching you that serving others is something we should do, even if we feel we are not qualified. Last week you said “The teacher always learns more than the student.” The many hours you spent preparing your Sunday School Lessons only to have the class go in a totally different direction was an amazing testimony to your willingness to serve despite the outcome.
Simplicity. I have learned that we are not defined by what we have but what we do with what we have. Even into your last days you have shared all that you have had. Your words, your home, your time, your family. You have never lived extravagently but have always shared and given what you did have.
Salvation. This is the most important thing you have left behind. Your decision to be the first person in your family to believe in God and then to fully carry that out in your life and the life of your family has impacted me greatly. You shared your faith with my mother, who shared it with me and now I am sharing it with my own children. Your life carries on into eternity through each of us.
Grandpa I love you.
I love who you were, your good, your bad, your successes, your faults, your hopes, your grace and your grit. You will not be forgotten.
Love your granddaughter,