In Remembrance of Austin E. Pond

              My grandfather, Austin Evans Pond, passed away this New Year’s Eve. He was battling mesothelioma, a condition where asbestos in the lungs continually decreases lung capacity. He was a loving husband to his wife that went before him, a loving father to his two daughters, and a phenomenal grandfather to me and my three siblings. I remember as a kid when he would come to visit I knew that meant a trip to McDonald’s and a trip to the movies. When I was old enough to drive, he came down to visit and tossed his keys to me and told me to drive to town so we could go eat lunch. A little bit of backstory here, my grandfather loved his cars and always kept them in such pristine condition you would be convinced that the car was continuously new off the lot. For a seventeen year old with this knowledge, I learned a new definition of fear that day! Thankfully the trip didn’t end in disaster, though I remember getting a little over-zealous with the gas pedal when we first got started. I remember when the Texas Rangers were playing the St. Louis Cardinals, my sister and I would trash talk the Cardinals and Grandpa would do the same to the Rangers. We never got serious, it was just joking back and forth. He was also a little bit of a prankster, always acting like us kids were picking on him or a little bit of rough housing before he got sick. Religiously, my grandfather was devoted to his church, and I believe my mother’s way of getting me in church every time the doors were open originated with him.
                This past Monday my mother, sister, and I went up to see Grandpa in the assisted living facility where he had been for the past couple of months. When we got there, hospice nurses were there saying that we were lucky because Grandpa didn’t have much time. The rest of my family, my father and two brothers, came up and we were able to say our goodbyes before he passed away just after midnight on New Year’s Eve.
                I am going to miss my Grandpa, but I am not in despairing because I will never see him again. He believed in Jesus as his savior and he repented of his sins. Because of this, I will see my Grandpa again in Heaven when my time comes. The pastor at his funeral said my Grandpa was not perfect, he was a believer. This hit me really hard over the idea of grace and mercy. The Laws given in the Bible are meant to show us how broken and fallen we are and that we will never measure up to the standards God placed for us. Do not despair! God sent his son, Jesus, to die for our sins so that our iniquities may be covered up with the grace and mercy that were bought with his blood. What should one do to receive this gift? There is a three step process. I’m going to use a simplistic process call the ABC’s of salvation (Admit, Believe, and Confess). You must admit that you are a sinner and have fallen short of the glory of God. You must then believe that Jesus came down to die on the cross for your sins. Then confess and repent of your sins. If you follow these steps, you are saved and you have eternal salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. If you are saved, then while the sadness endured by your family is temporary, they can be assured that they will see you again if indeed they themselves are saved. God bless you and have a good 2014.


  1. This is a beautiful tribute to a man that I knew growing up. I am a friend of your mom and your Aunt Lori. Thank you for sharing and reminding me again of how blessed I am for the great people who influenced my life. Look forward to celebrating with him again. May God's Blessing be upon you as his grandchild.


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