Raymond Roman

We were sons of insurrection, doomed to face the dark alone.
‘Till vicarious perfection, dearly won, was made our own.
So where’s your landslide, where’s your victory?
Tell me now, where’s your sting?
Unassailable you waited, the great enemy of man,
‘till your awful jaws were sated, and we were ransomed from your hand.
Now that you have been disarmed,
We will cross over unharmed.

There aren’t too many things worse than losing a family member. Especially when that family member is one that’s helped shaped the person that you are today. Last night my grandfather passed away, thus ending a battle with cancer. While the cancer won the battle over his body, we are blessed and thankful that Christ has won the ultimate battle, and that my grandfather is now enjoying fellowship with our Savior.

There are many things I look up to about my grandfather. His Christ-like servant-like attitude being foremost. It was always a joy to be introduced to people and have them mention that my grandfather fixed (insert anything and everything) for them. That was how he operated. He was a person that fixed things. And no, not quick fixes. He would do it the right way. And he would do it without complaining.

I also admired his love for the church. Not only going on Sundays to partake in worship but to go during the week to help do work on the church grounds and building. Never complaining, aside from a slight grumble about people cutting corners, but reveling in the fact that he is taking part in making his church beautiful.

Being in engineering and machine design, I also looked up to his creativity and mechanical aptitude. It was never a question of “can this be done”? It was, “I’ll figure it out and come up with something”. This “can-do” attitude and desire to come up with solutions, drives me on a daily basis.

I’m also thankful for the way he raised a family. Never perfect, but always striving to work hard and do the best thing for them. It was always a joy watching him laugh and giggle in excitement as he would give his Christmas present to his wife.

There are many memories that I will treasure for the rest of my life that involve my grandfather. Some of them being;

· Running model boats and airplanes at a local pond or open field. This was his hobby and one that he loved doing. I’ll never forget those days.

· His lack of knowledge and interest about sports, even though he lived in the massive sports town of Pittsburgh. Even then, he would still come out to my baseball and football games when he had the chance. Even offered me $1 if I hit a HR. This was quite amusing as I was not a power hitter, and hadn’t come close to a HR in my career. But that’s what made him special.

It was also quite shocking to have him talk trash to me when Robert Morris (local Pittsburgh school) beat the Kentucky Wildcats in the NIT.

It was also fun to try to explain why I have a jersey with the word ‘Couch’ on the back. Being a Kentucky fan, Tim Couch was one of my favorite players so I got a jersey for Christmas. He just couldn’t comprehend why I had the name of a piece of furniture on the back of my jersey.

· Playing with LEGOs with him. They always kept a box of LEGOs that we would build stuff with.

· Building a wooden fort for my army men. One summer we started building a fort, about 18inches x 18inches, out of spare wood lying around. It took a day or 2 but it was something that I really enjoyed and still own. Yes, he put the fort-doors on a hinge so they opened and closed.

· Talking to him on the phone, listening to his stories. Over the past years, I’ve tried to call my grandparents weekly, to catch up with them and discuss the happenings around our lives. I will miss these conversations with him.

· Working on many projects with him in his basement. His basement was his workshop and one that he loved working in. It was always a joy to go down there to help him on a current project or just sit and chat with him as he was working on various projects.

· Hearing him pray at meals. Always was a blessing to hear him pray at dinnertime.

· His love of using superglue on projects and being sure to warn you to never get it in your eyes.

There are many more memories that I could go on for days about. He was a special man and one that I am glad I could call my Papap. I am blessed that I will be able to see him again and thankful for time I got to spend with him here on earth. He will always be a driving force in the work I do and will be sorely missed.

Christ is victorious. Even in death as death has been disarmed.

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