A Matter of Life and Death

We all die. Life is a terminal illness. Everyone will die and we are not in control of when that will happen, in most cases. “Life is the most comprehensive danger of all”. (Dr. John MacArthur, 2020)

If you are a Christian and have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior then death means something completely different. In death, as a Christian, we have hope and we know that we will be with our Savior once death greets us.

I was just a little boy, around 8 or 9 when my first grandparent passed away. Emary Franklin Bryant Sr. He was in his early 60’s when he died of a massive heart attack. He was taken way too early and way too fast. I never really got to know him but his legacy continues even today. I proudly carry his name in full and my son carries his first and last name. I’m proud of my namesake and it’s history and heritage. I didn’t lose another grandparent until April 2011 during the massive tornado outbreak. It was a turbulent time. Dealing with hospital visits between storms and getting called into work.

Between Thanksgiving 2019 and Christmas that same year, my mother in law went to the doctor because she lost her voice and had a cold. She was diagnosed with lung cancer. That cancer spread so rapidly that she never got a chance to have her first treatment and on 21 March 2020, she died in her home.

At the same time, my other grandfather, William Hoyt Ownby, was battling his own health issues. He had fallen a few weeks ago and had hip surgery. He was almost mobile when he had a stroke and went back into the hospital. With the coronavirus (COVID-19) in full swing, the family was limited on the ability to visit him in the hospital. Last night he was moved to a Hospice Center and placed on comfort care. As my daughter and I entered his room to see him, for what may be the last time, he was sleeping peacefully. While I am sad that he is close to leaving this world, I’m joyful because of the hope we have in Jesus. I know, as sure as I am sitting here typing this, that I will see him again someday.

I recall running around his garage as a little boy. I remember overhearing him talking to someone and, being a Korean War Veteran, he said that he believed every young man should serve their country. I never forgot those words and next month, I will celebrate 21 years of being in the U.S. Navy. Before I left for boot camp, he and I sat in a wooden swing in his front yard and he assured me I was making the right decision. His only advice was to get everything I could. I’m proud to say that he was able to pin on my Anchors when I made Chief in 2013 and I’ve since made Senior Chief. I hope I’ve fulfilled his charge.

Death is certain. It is the only certain thing in this life. Be kind to one another. Be humble and realize that tomorrow is not promised and neither is our next breath.

Old Technology

A few weeks ago my grandmother, Ruby Bryant, passed away.  She was 82.  She passed away due to congestive heart failure complications.  My grandfather, Emary Bryant, passed away over 20 years earlier.  So now that my grandmother is gone, the time has come to begin the process of going through their house.

Yesterday we went over to the house to have one of our last family get-togethers.  We all had a wonderful yet sad time.  As we were looking through the house my daughter, who was in the other room, called my cellphone.  The voice on the other end wasn’t the typical high quality voice from my daughter that I am use to hearing.  She told me in a very excited voice that she was calling me from an old rotary phone that was in the spare bedroom.  As the grand kids were making a list of the things that we wanted from the house I decided to put the rotary phone on the list.

I was shocked to find out that I was the only person, besides my daughter, who wanted that old phone.  So we took it home.  The true subject and topic of this post follows.  As we were sitting on the couch talking about our evening, my daughter asked me, “I wonder what the phone number is of that old phone we got?” All I could do was laugh and of course I played along.  So I told her to go plug it in and call me so I could see what number popped up on my cell phone.  We all got a good chuckle out of that.

I love the fact that Emilie, my daughter, has a love for old technology.  Hopefully someday she can get her ham radio license like me and my dad so we can use some of the other old stuff that we found.