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Do You Remember Aunt Bea?

Friday, May 22, 2020

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"To live in the hearts of those left behind is not to die." – epitaph written on Frances Bavier’s headstone

December 23, 1978… March 13, 2002… April 16, 2011…

Three dates that probably don’t resonate much with most people and certainly, with most historians. And yet, they were monumental milestones in my life.

The first date marked the death of my paternal grandfather, William John Glading. A former semi-pro ballplayer, he had been AWOL for much of my childhood because of a family feud. However, two years before his death, he finally made amends with my dad. More importantly, he made amends with God by placing his faith and trust in Jesus as his Savior.

Losing my grandad was traumatic because he was the first of my family members to die. My maternal grandfather had passed away in January 1966, but I was only a second grader at the time and so, I have very few memories of him. Thankfully, I can at least recall a birthday party in our basement, holding a handwritten get-well sign outside his hospital window, and receiving a world-class back rub sitting on his lap.

March 13, 2002 marked my dad’s homegoing from a massive heart attack. I wish I had been able to say my final good-byes and thank him for all he did for me, but God had other plans. However, I am relieved that my dad didn’t suffer and comforted by the fact that – because he was a true believer – I will see him again in Glory.

John Miller was my best friend from my growing up years. We had reconnected when I learned of his terminal cancer and I was there when he drew his last breath this side of heaven on April 16, 2011… along with his devoted wife Patty and several other family members. Fortunately, I had the privilege of leading John to saving faith in Christ a few months earlier and so, I will be together with my childhood chum for all eternity.

As the epitaph for “Aunt Bea” from the Andy Griffith Show reminds us, people who live in our hearts will always be a part of us. Frances Bavier made sure of that by leaving a $100,000 trust fund to the police department in her adopted hometown of Siler City NC, which is used to provide all police personnel with an annual Christmas bonus.

Make sure that you live your life in such a way that others remember you fondly.

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” Psalm 20:7 (NKJV)

- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

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