S: Big Bob by Connie Gallagher illustrated by Moses Jin
BC: Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
1: For the Grandchildren of Bob and Sue Eberz By Connie Gallagher Story Copyright 2009 Illustrated by Moses Jin
2: Big Bob looked like he could play Abraham Lincoln on President’s Day, but he didn’t make speeches, just funny comments. And he didn’t need a beard to look handsome, though he sometimes wore one; he had blue eyes that twinkled when he smiled. But don’t tell him that—Big Bob liked to pretend he was grumpy. But Grampie, not grumpy, is what the grandchildren called him.
4: When Big Bob was a young man, he liked sports cars with bright colors and loud engines, shiny and well greased. He knew everything about them from top to bottom and front to back. Everyone watched him drive by and wanted a ride. | The other seat in the car went to Grandma Sue. Can you picture her with long blonde hair to her waist riding in a fast Corvette? Yep, it’s true. The cars were Big Bob’s passion till they got married and your grandmother needed a new washer and dryer. “Bob, will you sell your beloved Corvette for me?” He did. Big Bob was a good man. And your grandmother has been washing clothes with a smile ever since.
6: Big Bob did many important things in his life. He served America as a soldier, an aviation electrician in the Navy. He raised three children, including your mom or dad, to get a good education, work hard, and know God. He helped countless friends with their lights, switches, fans and broken electrical goods. “Bob, can you help?” “I’ll stop in after work.” And Big Bob in his red van would be there. | He was fast too—his fingers flew over everything he fixed. “Welp, I’ll be seeing you,” he was saying before you knew it! If you were fast enough to catch him working, he’d be sure to crack a joke and make you laugh.
7: If there were children around our house at the time, first Big Bob showed them just what he was doing, and then he pretended to be zapped with a bolt of electricity!
8: Bob traveled to Kenya and the Ukraine and Trinidad to Alaska to help build churches. “Bob, can you go?” “I’ll be there.” He worked extra jobs to pay for the trips. Closer to home, he kept his church at Fairview well plugged, and the local college at Ursinus electrically charged during classes, thunderstorms, football games, and graduations. Bob was there to keep the lights burning!
10: For years Big Bob greeted the children at Sunday School class. “Hello, Beautiful, where’s your smile?” And you found it, and skipped through the doorway.
11: For more years, Big Bob helped out in the nursery with the babies. They fit just right in his big embrace. He settled them down and handed them back contented to their parents after the service.
13: When Big Bob wasn’t fixing or helping, he might have been hunting. How he loved to escape into the woods, listen to God’s birds singing him a song, and wait patiently. He knew all the secret signs in deer territory and could reach his target with either a gun or a bow and arrow. Then Big Bob would thank the deer and share the meat with friends and family.
15: Sometimes Big Bob helped before people they knew they needed help. Other times he helped when people were still wondering what in the world they were going to do. Even when Big Bob became sick, volunteering at the cancer center helped him feel better. At his funeral, the pastor asked how many people had Bob helped. A churchful of people raised their hands. Thanks Big Bob!
16: Big Bob wasn’t really so big, more like tall and lean. But he was big in our hearts. When Bob died and went to heaven, loads of friends and family poured into his church to “pay their respects.” He was our friend for twenty -five years, someone who always answered when we yelled “Bob, we need help!” Everyone should have a friend like Big Bob. And some very special little people can say, “Grampie will always be an important part of our family.”
18: Big Bob loved to work and he loved his family. He loved his God and he loved to hunt. And because you were too little to remember, I wanted you to know that Big Bob loved his babies.
21: Once upon a time, not so long ago, Big Bob held you in his arms, and he was a happy man. He may have walked you to his vegetable garden to see what was growing. He may have walked you by his gurgling pond to watch the bright, orange fish. I am very sure he sat with you on the swing by the house, next to your grandmother, gently rocking and counting his blessings. I like to think Big Bob is with Jesus maybe working the stars like heavenly lights. God does have plans for him there beyond what we can imagine. And it is wonderful! That is one of the promises of Jesus. Big Bob will tell you to rest on that.