My Grandpa is getting older.
I have a lot to I could say about my Grandpa. I live close by him and so it has been special being able to visit him often and help him. He has had a series of strokes, one of them being quite serious, and it wiped out part of his memory. My Grandma is grateful that it was not the essentials. He is able to remember most people, especially family and her, and he knows the important stuff about each of us. He can also look after some of his basic needs most of the time.
He had a lifetime full of church service. He told me last week, "People say I was a bishop and a stake president and a temple president and a patriarch, but I have no memory of any of that." Grandma reads to him from his life history to remind him of things. He says it's just blank space when he tries to recall it.
He says to me that there remains a strip of memory that includes family and loved ones on one side, and his testimony and gospel knowledge on the other. Somehow, that information has been preserved intact. That is remarkable to me. Ninety-two years of life and memory has been stripped down to just those two parts.
I am grateful that my grandfather has been able to keep the two pieces of knowledge that make life, any life, meaningful. He has the understanding of Heavenly Father's plan, and of the gospel. He understands Christ and His atonement, and He maintains a close relationship with Him. Without that understanding of eternity, there is nothing more bleak than getting to the end of your life and seeing the gaping hole that is left after everything else is taken away.
And he has his family and his wife: Love. Relationships. Eternal Covenants.
And that is a blessing because without those two pieces of divine truth, this life is just a dead end road that goes on for far too long.