In Memoriam

Last Thursday afternoon one of my bestest girlfriends, Heather, received a shocking phone call from her mother, Lynn. Her precious grandfather, Ruben D. Whitfield, affectionately known to everyone as Poppi, fell from a ladder while working in their church's fellowship building helping to prepare for their upcoming VBS and was in ICU.

The prognosis was not good.

Family members from near and far scurried as quickly as they could to rally around their beloved Poppi as he was in a coma. There were countless prayers, countless tears, countless memories shared as they held vigil over him.

The Lord welcomed Poppi home late last Saturday evening.

You can say that Poppi lived a long, full, rewarding life. At 86, married to his lovely bride Naomi (Nana) for 67 years, loving father to three beautiful daughters, grandfather of many adults and great-grandfather of an ever growing brood of precious little ones, I'd say he did. You can say that he was a faithful Christian servant, working for many, many years sowing seeds for Christ through his quiet example of living daily for Jesus. He was. You can say he was an example of a truly successful man, not necessarily based on worldly criteria, but based on his influence on his family and those around him. He was. You can say he modeled love and hospitality. He did. You can say with confidence he is with Jesus and no longer suffering aches and pains of an aging body. He is. You can say all of this and so much more about Poppi.

And yet. Still.

I know his family is missing him something fierce.

My heart is tender for them.

I had the honor of meeting Poppi just last month after hearing so many stories from Heather over the years. Tuesday I had the honor of saying goodbye to Poppi at his memorial service in Smithville, TX. He touched so many lives as was evidenced by the overflowing church full of those he impacted through his long, exceedingly kind, humble life. Please keep Nana, their daughters Lynn, Jody and Kathy and all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren in your prayers as they adjust to life without their beloved Poppi.


  1. I am sorry for Heather's family. Even with all those great things about him and with the comfort of their faith death is still a hard transition.

  2. 67 years. Wow. I can only pray for the same blessing.

  3. Wow. Certainly at that age, one doesn't expect to go that way. So unexpected, but I'm sure his family took comfort knowing he was serving the Lord when he left. My hubby's grandfather died in the same way. Fell from the roof of the church next door to their house. So sad.

  4. ((((((hugs & prayers)))))
    God is rejoicing!!!!

  5. oh Holly!! Thank you so much for that sweet tribute to Poppi. It meant so much to have you girls there. He loved you all. I am so glad you got to meet him and get to know him. Thanks again, girl! Your blog really touched my heart!

    I love u!

  6. If I could see through this blur of tears to tell you thanks, I would. I would also tell you that your words meant so much to me. Because they did. It was such a beautiful testimony to my daddy. I miss him so very much. I truly ache physically. I know you understand what I mean by that. Thanks for coming and sharing that day with us. Please hurry back and visit. Thank you for being so precious and being one of my "other daughters". I LOVE YOU.


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