Visiting Grandpa Ben in his last days was bittersweet. I was so thankful to see him one more time yet was hesitant to share everything I felt for him knowing I would burst into sobbing before him. I was thankful to see family and friends gathered around him. I'll never forget the first time Ben noticed my artwork. I was around 11 years of age and was showing my sketch of a log cabin drawn with coloring pencils. He admired my attempt at perspective and light logic. I'm so thankful he supported my interest in the arts. He was looking out for me. Whenever we visited, we had conversations about art history and about applications of different materials that I was currently working with in my projects at school. I loved talking about places that he has visited and the sites he saw especially in Europe. I took my first trip to Europe this January. Ben knew about my plans to travel and I wished so badly that I could share with him my experiences. He traveled so much that wherever I went I thought to myself, perhaps Ben was here at some point. I remembered his words while ascending the staircase to the outer dome of St. Paul's Cathedral, "Do those kinds of things before your body gets too old." I was living out what he told me. He encouraged my sense of adventure and I hope that if I reach the age he does, I would have traveled the world and lived an enriching life such as he did. I loved every moment of the conversations we shared and I will miss him dearly.
[I'm just a pencil in the Lord's hand]
"...by the grace of God, I am what I am."
1 Corinthians 15:10