Today marks 3 months since James Robert Barton passed away. So here are the words I spoke at his funeral, as well as some of my favorite pictures of him. I think it helps me to talk about him, it makes him feel more present to me. So thanks for letting me share. 💛
  1. When I think about Grey and all my memories of him, well, there are a lot of them. And they are all good memories, every single one.
  2. There are a lot from my childhood,
  3. from him singing “buckle up Winsocki” every time we got in the car,
  4. to him rereading the same four books to me whenever I asked,
  5. to him attending every recital/game/performance,
  6. to him waking up early to bring all his grandchildren donuts every Thursday before school,
  7. to him dropping everything to pick me up from school whenever I was sick,
  8. the opportunities for laughter and lessons and love were never ending.
  9. But some of my favorite memories with him were more recent, and they were made every Saturday, September through December.
  10. See, at some point around middle school, I developed a deep love of college football. And Grey shared this love of football with me.
  11. So as soon as I got my license, I would wake up every Saturday morning and drive to his house and spend the entire day doing homework and watching college football with him, often until 12:30 AM when Granther would make me go home.
  12. Grey, my Aunt Elizabeth, and I made the best football watching team.
  13. Grey’s football commentary was simply the best. When a quarterback would throw and interception, he’d yell things like “You dumb ox!” and he would come up with nicknames for all his favorite players.
  14. He was also really good about listening to my commentary and opinions, which was special to me, because in high school, not a lot of boys wanna talk football with girls, and not a lot of girls know how to talk football.
  15. During all these Saturdays spent at my grandparents’, I also got to witness Grey being the best husband around.
  16. First, because every time the Aggies scored, he made sure to give Granther a kiss.
  17. And second, because every time Granther asked something of him, he would get up from whatever game we were watching and oblige her, even if we were about to go for it on 4th and 1.
  18. These requests were often things like “Jim, would you go fill all the bird feeders?” or “Jimmy Ray, will you please water the plants in the front?” or “Jim, will you take Margaret to go get some dinner for us?”
  19. and other times, the requests didn’t make a lot of sense,
  20. but Grey would never hesitate or question, he would get up and do whatever was asked of him,
  21. because he was a servant and because he loved Granther a whole lot and would do anything for her.
  22. Grey was just a really good man like that.
  23. When I think of his character, the first words that come to mind are Goodness and Love, which happen to be two Fruits of the Spirit.
  24. And then if I think about it just a little more, I realize that Grey possessed every single Fruit of the Spirit.
  25. You can see Love in the way he so deeply loved and cared for his family.
  26. You can see Joy in the way his laughter at the domino table filled the room.
  27. You can see Peace in the way he always kept his cool in the chaos of living in a house w 5 women.
  28. You can see Patience in the way he would spend two hours on a regular basis tutoring my sister in math.
  29. You can see Kindness in the way he treated every person he came in contact with.
  30. You can see Goodness in the way he way always, always, put others before himself.
  31. You can see Faithfulness in the way he was so committed to serving in the food pantry at church every Tuesday.
  32. You can see Gentleness in the way he carried himself every day.
  33. And you can see Self-control in the way he didn't eat a cheeseburger every day, even though you know he wanted to.
  34. I think that the fact that the Spirit was so evidently working in and through him is a testament to his devotion to the Lord, through Prayer and the Word, and it’s an example that I will always strive for in my own life.
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  72. and of course, G & G