Survival can take on many different forms, like those who come into your life in the most unassuming manner, at a turning point that could have averted devastation to our family. At a time when my bank account was running on empty, both our daughters announced that they were getting married.

How do you tell the loves of your life that you can’t afford not one wedding, let alone two? Fortunately, they were a year apart, so I had a little time to prepare. And in the meantime I was getting acquainted with two of the most fantastic fiscally responsible men that I had ever met — soon to be our sons-in-law.

Just when it seemed that my tank was running almost empty, God sent these two remarkable guys into my life. They taught me how to make a buck and hang on to it. Ironically, they were brothers — double whammy! Just how much attention to detail does God put into his will for you in your life?

These two guys have a heart of gold and a bank account to match — and the ambition to get it done. What I needed most at a time that I needed it most, filled every tank in my life. The girls not only had weddings, but they had beautiful weddings!

Praise the lord!

But it wasn’t over. It was just beginning, for along came grandchildren — the pride and joy of my life. Though I wasn’t able to make cowboys out of any of them, they did excel at most everything they tried. All have college degrees and doing well in their respective chosen professions, diverse in their vocations and following in the footsteps of no one — each with bragging rights reserved only for a grandpa.

But speaking of footsteps, one could never have imagined how God stepped in to disrupt and challenge this nearly perfect family; never like that which I’ve attempted to portray. No, it wasn’t almost perfect, but we had come so far and overcome so much — and so thankful for how God had turned our lives around. How could this have happened?

Like the blink of an eye, in an instant, all of our lives changed forever. Our granddaughter was in a horrific car accident that nearly took her life and did take her legs. Did God have a hand in this? I think he did, as she is not the same girl and we’re not the same family.

She has a perspective on life that is an inspiration to all who come to know her, and we are a better family for having to give more of ourselves to each other. The “me” attitude has turned into the “we” attitude. We all reach out to support her every endeavor and know at the age of twenty-three (23) she has a bright future that will light the way for all those whose lives she gets to touch.

God will light the way if you invite him in.

My other three grandchildren are all boys, and “as boys will be boys,” they have scrapes, bruises, and broken bones to show for it. But, none quite as devastating as that of the youngest. He was hurt in a freefall type diving accident, where he landed on his neck and back in shallow lake water, unable to move. Had it not been for a “guardian angel” that just happened to be on the beach at the time, he may have been dead or paralyzed from the neck down. Had he been moved like his buddy wanted to do, we would probably have been writing a different chapter in his life.

But, today grandpa has “bragging rights” for a grandson that is competing for a top ten position in sales for a nationally branded company.

Would this have ever seemed possible, as he was being airlifted to the Mayo Clinic? Or would my granddaughter have known of all the accomplishments and opportunities that were ahead of her, as she lay in the speeding ambulance, in her own race for life?

I think not, for as my granddaughter put it, as I was once jumping up and down in pain over a nicked finger, “Grandpa, it’s only temporary.” When God chose her to be “The One,” it was permanent!

As my oldest grandson flew through the air in his gust for a trophy in a dirt bike competition, I knew that he was a winner, as he has shown that in all his entrepreneurial endeavors. And the middle grandson never deviated from his passion for making a difference in the lives of others. Every kid he meets has been affected positively.

Their trophy case proudly sits in a prominent display for all to see at the home of their parents, a testimony of all their high school wrestling achievements. So who is responsible for all of this? Certainly not their grandpa, for I’ve never wrestled anything more complicated than a steer in my life.

However, I do take credit for some influential guidance for making them all (collectively) ride horseback across country until they reached their destination. As they pleaded for mercy to get off and walk, I assured them their butt would stay in the saddle until I advised otherwise.

Is this training, character building, etc., or did I have a hand in all of this? Did God? Did their parents? Or did they all turn out so well in spite of us? Well — I don’t believe you can do anything in spite of God.


Do we stop often enough to give Him the praise and the glory?