Yesterday morning, my Grandpa Truett Worley went to be with Jesus. It was very sudden after a head injury which he didn’t even think was a big deal at first. His absence will leave a deep and unexpected hole in our family.
When I got the call that Grandpa was unconscious in the hospital and it wasn’t looking good I was completely shaken. Truett Worley was the kind of man that you never really thought could die. He was such a rock, so stable and unwavering, so consistent, and so alive and always moving forward with his life.. Granny and Grandpa never cease to amaze us. For instance, back about 10 years ago when they were 70, they built their house. I mean built it – with their own two hands! Not their first, second or third house to build mind you. Just last year at 80 they made the switch from PC to Mac! I know a lot of 20 somethings that are afraid to make that transition, but not Truett Worley.
Grandpa was a photographer like me. In fact, his current gear completely kicks my gear’s butt… At their house in the kitchen there is a beautiful display cabinet displaying quite a few of his old cameras from throughout the years, which is always inspiring to me. The last time I saw Truett, (see my Mother’s Day post) we talked about photography.
He told me the story about when he bought his Hasselblad in Chicago, he told me how he couldn’t believe how good point and shoot cameras are at nailing exposures when you’re outside, and how many of them have Carl Zeiss lenses. We talked about his old darkroom, and how my cousin Brooke was borrowing an old 35mm camera for a film class she was taking. He told me his woes of trying to use Windows Vista because they had to buy a PC for Granny so she could use her card-making software. Not really conversations you normally have with an 81 year old man. But Grandpa was not your normal 81 year old.
I’m very sorry for all of you that have never heard Truett Worley talk because hearing him speak with his deep and drawn out (when I saw drawn out, I mean draaaaawn ooooout) drawl is an experience in and of itself. We all try to mimmick his little sayings (“Everybody get quiet!” and anything following, “Well Betty”) but none of us can draw out our words long enough to really do it justice.
Although I love all of those things about Grandpa, I think the thing that any of his kids, grandkids or great grandkids would say stands out to us the most is the spiritual legacy he gave all of us. When Truett Worley made up his mind about something he didn’t change it, and he made up his mind as a child that Jesus Christ was the Way, the Truth and the Light. My mom put it well yesterday when she said he set his face like flint for righteousness and never wavered. We have all been the beneficiaries of that unwavering righteousness. I think that all of us have made better choices in our lives for the fear of what Grandpa would say. As kids, my cousins and I would threaten to tell Grandpa about something bad that the other had done to bribe each other. It worked! He was the kind of presence the very idea of which made you want to stay on the straight and narrow.
He was ultra conservative and though we didn’t always agree with all of his opinions on life, we certainly respected them. There was no disrespecting Truett Worley, nooo sir. The very moment you clapped eyes on the man, respect automatically came forth. He was part John Wayne, part Clint Eastwood, part old time preacher, and if you knew him, you knew that a huge part of him was a big softy who just loved his family. He was never more proud than when we would all be in town attending First Baptist Roswell with them.
The more pews we filled, the prouder he was. And that pride stemmed from the fact that he could honestly say that all of his children and all of their children loved God. We do, and it is largely because one man decided to set his face like flint for Jesus a long time ago.
Thank you Grandpa. We love you.