Much Thanks.

Sorry for the delay, but I wanted to thank everyone for their prayers and thoughts for my family. As funerals go, you couldn’t have asked for a more blessed time with family.I was thankful to have both my dad, and a distant cousin approach me to help share the load of officiating the funeral and delivering the eulogy. And that cousin, Phil, told an AMAZING story about accidentally stumbling upon my grandpa (his uncle) and overhearing Russ praying. In fact, he was YELLING at God, which scared Phil to death!Phil told this story, which was about the day in the 70’s when Russ had been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the bladder….Phil’s mother, Betty was my grandpa Russ’s sister. They rushed over to be with Russ and my grandma Jackie when the harrowing call came in.Phil was just a young boy at the time and the vibe he was getting frightened him. In fact, was so afraid that he ran to the woods when they arrived at my grandparents house. That’s where he found Russ shouting to the heavens, “We had a DEAL! This isn’t the way it was supposed to happen!” Phil froze and listened. “God, you told me that I’d see my children’s children grown, that I’d have a mansion and that I’d die in a warm place!”Phil never told a soul this story….until Russ’s funeral.I had NO CLUE this story was what Phil was going to share. And he did so on the heels of my dad telling a series of stories about my grandpa spanning a number of subjects, not the least of which was Russ’s faith. One story my dad told was about a moment during WWII when my grandfather, who served in the Army and was on the frontlines in Germany, had a night where he had drunk himself to a stupor. Evidently, this wasn’t the first time he’d done this, but it was the last. Fearing he’d poisoned himself to the brink of death, he cried out to God and made a promise that if God would deliver him, Russ would stop drinking completely and follow God for the rest of his life. And Russ had shared with the family that he had seen a bright light at that moment and God had revealed to him those three things Phil told us about. But as far as I know, my grandpa didn’t share the details of his deal with God.Cancer over 30 years ago did not claim Russ’s life. In fact, it never returned after a successful operation. And within a few years of that scare, he and my grandma moved to a HUGE house in North Vernon, Indiana, and at the funeral I counted FOUR great grandchildren of his. Lastly, he passed away at their winter home in Bradenton, Florida, a humble, but decidedly WARM place.Phil’s story was one of many told that day, but it was the most poignant, and revealing of my grandpa’s character and faith in God. And it was one that the Nentrup family needed to hear–not just to comfort our mourning, but to heal our brokenness.So, thank you for your prayers. We all love you…Eric

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