My father-in-law, Gary Taylor, passed away suddenly Tuesday night from an apparent heart attack. He was 58. And he was one of the greatest examples I have known of someone who lived to know God and make God known. He was genuine, honest and loyal.
And he loved his five grandkids fiercely. Above is one of my favorite photos of him with the three oldest grandchildren. It's from Father's Day last year, so Ben and Evelyn weren't born yet. His smile was always present when he was helping Cate write her ABCs, singing songs with Elijah or dressing up in beads with Ethne.
Without a doubt the hardest part yesterday was thinking about how these three oldest grandchildren are going to have few memories of him and how the youngest two [and the one on the way ...] aren't going to have any. But, trust me, they'll hear stories and see pictures and hear more stories. Of how Granddaddy loved them. Dreamed for them. Prepared their dads to be family men. Entrusted them to God.
We got the news of Gary's death on Tuesday night and Greg immediately went to take care of his mom. I did some dishes, cleaned the floor, started a load of laundry, then climbed back into bed with my Bible open to the Psalms.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me. Psalm 13:5-6
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. Psalm 18:19
It is strange, but if ever there was a man whose soul was prepared to spend an eternity with God, it is Gary. He wasn't afraid of dying, and he lived every moment until he met Jesus face to face. This eternal life is the one he longed for. We'll miss him, no doubt. We'll talk about him for years to come. We'll cry and laugh. But we'll know he's home.
If you're interested, visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and the funeral is at 10 a.m. Saturday. Both will be at Glendale Road Church of Christ. Burial will follow at Murray Memorial Gardens.