Living in a small south Georgia town, I have come to realize that last names can take on particular meaning and significance. Often you will hear people say... "you part of them Stricklands?? Sapps?? Todds??" Of course, other names are often mentioned but surnames especially in small, rural areas bring familiarity.
My maternal grandparents' last name was "Love". It's happens be to ranked #311 in popularity in the US according to Mongabay.com The surname "Tippins" is listed as 18900. Wow... I'm thinking those "Tippins" think they are a little more popular than that!! haha!
My grandparents, Roy and Irene Love, are buried in Nortonville, KY, a small coal-mining community in western Kentucky. Daddy Roy and Mom, as we called them, represented their surname well. And though their last name appears to be fairly common, they were not. Up until their sicknesses, they kept the road from Nortonville, KY to Claxton, GA hot... always coming with a tool box! Daddy Roy was a great repair man (and came cheap!!) They had a passion for Christ and His church. They were like "Jesus... with skin on".
My grandfather died of cancer in 1995. He fought the good fight and lived 7 months after his diagnosis of colon cancer. There was an 8 hour difference of time between me and my grandparents, and I only saw him a few times before his death. I had so many things I wanted to tell him. I wrote him a little poem, The Store that Love Built. I mailed it to him but we never had the chance to talk about it. When I wrote the poem, I was feeling extremley guilty that I had not spent more time with him. This poem is framed in my house as a reminder.
May I share it with you??
If "thank you's were noted on lifes special account,
I guess "over-due" would read on much of my amount.
For I've never walked through your good will store...
that I didn't leave with good feelings galore.
You stock your shelves with kind words and soft smiles,
You encourage and show compassion all down your long aisles.
Upon entrance a whistle of a special little tune,
that signaled to me.. "My Daddy Roy's in the room!"
This store within, you have built with God's grace,
Today I thank you for the love you didn't waste.
For you see from your one store, a chain did evolve
that nurtured me with love and kind words, even when I was small.
And now that I'm older, I look at my past.
I see the my purchases were made to last.
The Store that Love built, you are owner, that's true,
And I love you and "thank you" for overlooking my "past due."
"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."