The “Memory Lane” column of my hometown newspaper has 4 headings: 10 Years Ago, 20 Years Ago, 50 years ago, and 100 years ago. (It’s a small town and a small paper!) I was surprised, today, when my eye caught on my grandparents’ names on the first line under the 10 Years Ago heading. But as soon as I read the paragraph I was choked up — it was the story of when a fire destroyed the farmhouse in which they’d spent 60 of their 64 years of marriage.
Luckily, they were 2 weeks away from their planned return home from a winter spent living with my mom and dad when the house burned to the ground in the middle of that horrible, cold night. There was no loss of life, but… I still get choked up thinking of all the childhood memories my kids didn’t get to make (like I did), the heirloom photos, and the emotional pain that resulted for my grandparents, my mom, and my aunt over all that was lost that night.
We had Papa & Grandma here to love on for a few more years after the fire and my Grandma was an amazing prayer warrior on my behalf until the day Jesus took her home. But losing their home, with such a violent finality, was devastating, especially to my Swedish immigrant Papa, who worked so hard to make that piece of land, that home, not only a profitable Iowa farm, but a place where any kid, regardless of their relation to him, could feel at home and loved. Really loved.
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