eu·re·ka yu̇-ˈrē-kə —used to express the thrill of discovery
When we purchased our property in Missouri nearly nine years ago, my husband and my aunt and uncle were the only ones who had seen the property before we moved. The kids and I moved to the property sight unseen. It was 40 acres of rolling hills and in the late summer there would be amber waves of grain, or what we discovered later was just long grass. It was a gorgeous property, especially in the fall looking out the kitchen window while doing the dishes admiring the few days of peek color we had.
We ended up moving about 30 minutes away from my fraternal grandfather, and we started taking our kids to the lake that I grew up swimming in during summer vacations to visit my grandparents. Grandpa met us down by the lake a few times during our first summer here. One day, my grandpa and his girlfriend, Barbara, came over for breakfast. As we were sitting at the table, I asked Grandpa if he ever thought I would have been the one to move to Missouri and he said, with a lot of enthusiasm, “NO WAY!!! You were way too citified!” He wasn’t wrong. I love the hustle and bustle and I like the conveniences of the city. Being able to get mascarpone and fancy cheeses in less than 10 minutes makes me happy. Moving to Missouri was a big transition for our whole family. We traded sidewalks for haybales.
The moment Grandpa exited the car he started telling us how great the property was. Slowly walking around and as he came in the front door, he said, “Michelle, you have a EUREKA here! This is a bonanza!” I chuckled and we continued to have our meal. After eating, he decided he wanted to look around some more and went out the back door with our, 3-year-old, Boston, and as I looked up from dropping some dishes in the sink, I saw Boston showing Grandpa around. I wasn’t privy to the conversation, but I imagine it went something like, “And this is the garden. Isn’t it nice?” I chuckled again, and Mike snapped the picture. Later, Barbara printed the picture, framed it, and gave it to Grandpa as a gift.
On Tuesday, January 16, 2024, my Grandpa went Home. He was 95. He lived a long, good, life. He shared a lot of stories. As a child, we’d visit his and Grandma’s farm for a week at a time, and at each meal, he’d tell us to eat whatever food was on our plate, because “it would be hair on our chest.” He’d go out and work the cattle in the morning and we’d hear him singing while he took his bath in the afternoon. He’d take us to the lake to go swimming on hot days and an ice cream stop on the way home. We’d make donuts with Grandma and drive tractors with Grandpa.
After Grandma went Home in 2000, Mike and I stopped by to visit Grandpa after we got married and he offered to make us omelets for breakfast. He talked through each step and told us what he was doing and was excited to have the company in the house. As he was cooking he said, “Michelle, (in his Missouri drawl), you didn’t know that I was a colonary, did you!?!?” I laughed, “Culinary, Grandpa, you’re cooking.” He kept saying it though. He was a colonary and an expert cook at slightly runny omelets.
After moving to Missouri, we say Grandpa regularly, on different holidays, and at lunches with family. He constantly asked how business was and how our Eurkea was doing. Even after we sold the property he’d still talk about how much he liked it. With each interaction with Grandpa, he never talked about politics and he always talked about Jesus. He would look me in the eyes and say, “Are you praying Michelle? You know how to get peace that passes understanding, don’t you? You just need to ask Jesus. There’s no need to worry.” After Boston went Home, he’d make sure he knew that I knew how to get peace that passes understanding. The gospel was simple to Grandpa. He taught me how simple it is. We tend to make things so complicated. Grandpa would say, “Jesus loves you and me. Just pray for peace and don’t worry.” Then he’d sing a song.
One of Grandpa’s favorite songs was, I’ll Fly Away.
Some glad morning when this life is over
I’ll fly away
To a home on God’ celestial shore
I’ll fly away
I’ll fly away, oh, Glory
I’ll fly away
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by
I’ll fly away
Just a few more weary days and then
I’ll fly away
To a land where joy shall never end
I’ll fly awayAlbert E Brumley
I believe in heaven and I believe that a reunion happens with loved ones who have gone Home before us, but I don’t believe that the reunion with our loved ones overshadows the moment we see our Savior when we first step into our new life. I believe the moment we see Jesus, it will be so awestruck, so full of worship, so amazed by his glory, that we won’t be concerned about the reunion our earthly selves wanted so desperately. Here on earth, we are looking at things so dimly, all we can consider is the reunion with the people we miss. So, I say this next statement very lightly and it is merely my selfish imagination, but maybe when Boston saw Grandpa, upon his arrival Home, a similar event may have happened, where he spread out his arms and said, “Hey, Grandpa, welcome to EUREKA! You have come Home and found something glorious!”
For now we see in a mirror dinly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.I Corinthians 13:12