tribute to a good man

grandpa earnest owen, 95 years old and one day…. not one day too many.

man lived a life of hard work.  an amazing work ethic, started a dirt moving company when he was 50.  never developed a huge company because he was such a perfectionist.  Owen and Son dirt company, started and he and Leeland, his son, have moved dirt for the better part of the last century.

in the middle of 22 children… his father was a traveling pastor for the southern baptist convention.  from the words i get, not exactly a stand up guy, seemed the life of a traveling pastor made him a favorite of the ladies in the cities he visited, but still… workin for the Lord, i suppose.  Grandpa Owen had a hard life.  Raised through the depression, he was a man of standards and high ideals.  very competitive spirit, but also very loving to his grandchildren. 

I see the way my father is/was endeared to him, and i am amazed.  a few summers when he was a child molded him so much… i see it in everything he does.  When Grandma Owen died in 03, we went up there and many dots connected as we buried a woman of faith, that stood strong in the Word.  Knew how to teach and love and discipline, but also how to love.  My father was shaped by these people…

this is why he would name his firstborn, me, brandon OWEN avance.  A pride in that name, i never realized, i now have.  an amazing story behind that name, a story of my father’s development and childhood.

stories of Grandpa Owen starting a truck for dad when he was 12, showing him first, second and third and reverse, and telling him to drive around.  so he did, 8 hours riding the clutch in a field, trying to get it up into third.. haha…. in a field, i might add… that’s pretty fast…

Grammie telling stories of chickens, and how they would wring their necks… Grandma Owen would ring four or five, and Grammie, Edith Dale, would try wringing one, while its legs scratched up her arms and she would… and the chicken would be on the ground with a sore neck as Grandma Owen picked up to take care of the siliness… super funny…

God’s good.  i’m blessed to come from an amazing family of harsh prairie women and men.  Hard workers with a love for the land and a love for life like i’ve never seen.  amazing to know this.  reminds me of the people on the Amazon.  Livin in small wood houses, with just what they need to get by, and nothing more.

I learned something today in burying my Great Grandpa Owen.  I stood in the flat, ugly cemetrary, and watched them lower his body, and thought… from dust to dust… indeed, it is a good life we live, many things we can do, but nothing more inspriring then loving your family and raising a child to love the Lord.

indeed, a child will return to the way he was raised.  my dad is a great man.  i’m impressed.  as i begin to see through the tough outer shell, and realize the love amidst the harshness, and find grace in the daily grind, my dad is an awesome man.  Always there, like the sun.  always a guide, always a listening ear, always a loving response, even in anger, even in no response, there is love.  and i do appreciate it.  Dad, you are appreciated, if you ever read this.  I am thankful for the name Owen today, and grateful for your love.

Train a child in the way he should go, and he will not turn from it.  Proverbs 22.6

Lord, today i am thankful for my jacked up family.  i am thankful for every bump in the road and every turn.  I am thankful Grandpa let dad learn to drive a stick in the fields there in the booming metropolis of Blackwell, Ok.  I am thankful for your word in my family, and for your grace and mercy.  I pray for grace as Grandpa enters your kingdom and is now, today, closer to home then i feel right now, sitting on my back porch.  indeed, you are good..

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