My husband learned a great deal from his father. So. Many. Things. Including but not limited to farming, feeding cattle, raising pigs, working hard, being a husband and father, to living a life of faith. The man that helped create and mold the man I love passed away this week.
RV was 91 years old.
He moved through life by physically working hard every day (up till about three years ago.) RV grew up in a family of five and resided in the farm home where he was born. That is where his wife of 63 years and him created a life and family. The four sons they had were able to run around the same house and farm yard RV did growing up. Being blessed with four children created a huge extension of family with 38 various types of grandchildren as of this post. A legacy in and of itself right there!
RV was a small framed man, could visit with most anyone and when I’d explain how I was connected to this family, I’d start with my husband then move to my father in law. Most everyone would say something like “OH YES, I know RV!” They would smile and tell me something he had said or did.
One of the things I loved about this man was when he would say something and then end with his smile which included a giggle. Normally this would occur when a grandchild was involved hanging around in the kitchen visiting.
RV wasn’t an outspoken Lutheran but he was faithful no doubt. RV reflected this in many ways but mostly by attending regularly the country church he belonged to that happen to be only two miles from his home. This is the place that held many pivotal moments in his life. Baptism, confirmation, his funeral and now lays to rest in the church cemetery. Awaiting the resurrection. Although God is everywhere and we can worship in various places, I think it’s something special to have one of RV’s legacies be that he had one home church.
This past week I went to the shed to get the mower out and as I sat on it I looked before me. I saw what most people would see in a farm shed. An old grain truck and other various things that have been in that shed long before I ever came along to this family. My heart took a moment to skip and my eyes began to water a bit. I thought of my father in law.
The man that had bought the grain truck and drove it many times hauling grain or seed wheat. The one that had built that old shed with his wife out of used materials when they were young in their marriage. I thought of how many times he had walked across that dirt floor to find a nut or bolt, to put away the old grain truck or store something. A person can walk through the farm yard and recall him in various tasks, memories is all we have now but oh how lucky we are that we have them.
As I turned to leave the sight before me conjured up one of these. I was able to see an image I had a few years ago as it transpired. Our daughter when she was quite young by the cattle pens. Both their backs were to me and it is such a beautiful image to me. I was able to capture it not only in my mind but with my camera in hand. I am so happy about that now.
The farm was his life. The legacy he built is a beautiful one and it was built on his sweat, tears and probably some blood if we’re being honest. When the times were tough he hung on and his wife went for the ride. The life RV lived is one that not only he could be proud of but his large family as well.
RV won’t roam the farm yard anymore or sit in the chair in the shed watching my husband work on the equipment. The days of cursing hogs are long gone. He won’t have the sun-kissed arms and face with his floppy hat as he did later in years. He won’t run the tractor feeding calves in the winter or drive the old tractor with no cab to mow the ditches next to our fields. Not even drive a grain truck or combine as he did for so many years.
What RV will have is a family that brings his memory to the table when we gather together and a Lord that will bring us back together to rejoice one day. In memory of my father in law may he rest in peace.
I am so very grateful my husband was raised by you RV.