Thursday, June 14, 2012

Those Who Fear God

It's Father's day again. I had a story I was going to post about my father but it has been sold to an anthology so I am not at liberty to post it. You can read this story in "Life Lessons From Dads" published by Integrity Press. My story is titled, "Someone Special" - a name derived from a famous quote by Anne Geddes that says, "Any man can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad."

So instead today I will tell you about another someone special, my mother's father.  

Ellis Charles Blankenship was born, lived, and died in rural North Carolina. He was a big man, nearly 6'2" with a strong and powerful body. He grew up poor and spent his life working in a textile mill and on his farm. Because he milked cows every morning and every evening of his life, he had a special small muscle near his elbow that he could flex by squeezing his fist together as if he was milking a cow. I have never known anyone else in my life who had this muscle. I and his other grandchildren would beg him to show us this unique muscle which we didn't have. Becasue of a lifetime of physical labor, he was strong even as an old man. Once when I was a teenager, my sister talked him into arm wrestling her 18 year old football player boyfriend...and Grandaddy won!

Grandaddy worked hard all of his life. He had to drop out of school after only the 3rd grade in order to work in the mills to help bring in some money for his family. Because of this he could barely read and write but he read well enough to read his Bible everyday.

Grandaddy supported himself, 4 children, a wife, and 2 old maid aunts with his farm and the little bit of income he earned from the mills. My mom grew up poor but they had food to eat, fresh milk to drink, and a house he had built with his own hands. He was a good man. He loved his family and his God.

I can still see his sky blue eyes twinkling at me as he smiled. Though he has been gone from this world for many years now, I am still thankful for the legacy he left well as the tall strong body I inherited from his gene pool. Grandaddy, I'll see you again someday and we will worship together around the throme of the God you taught your daughter about...and she in turn taught me.

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