As I walk home from an afternoon’s visit over tea with my dear grandparents, I smile at the ability to share life with them. What richness and delight come from our conversations together! Whether it’s sharing about theology, current events in my life or theirs, books, or stories about their past, I always come away a richer person than before I came. And why should I not share life with these two amazing people from whom so much of who I am flows? From them, comes my love of books … love of music … love of writing. From my grandmother, I inherit good penmanship and a love of journaling. From my grandfather comes my love of traveling and a sense of adventure. They even started my whole kick into scrapbooking! (Well, at least helped to foster it …) So much of who I am today began with them … much of it passed through my mother and then into me, but I recognize its beginnings every time I visit my grandparents and get to know them better.
That’s why I wish I could have known my dad’s parents – to see firsthand in their lives all the many traits they unknowingly passed on to me. If only I could have gotten a glimpse of that side of my heritage before they passed on. What fascinating stories they could have told, growing up in the early 1900’s, both descendants of German immigrants! Yet I feel as if I can see many of their qualities alive in our family today … through my dad who carries on that legacy for us children to learn from. A strong sense of commitment to family, God, and country (and a love for lots of kids!) … a love of laughter and silly, affectionate names … a dedication to hard work and responsibility at a young age – all of these are things I know I would have learned from my daddy’s parents because they instilled them so well in him.
To leave a legacy like that – that’s what I truly desire. To pass on to children and grandchildren the lessons I learned and memories I made in my lifetime – I think that would be one of life’s greatest gifts. And in the meantime, I need to learn to take not one single moment with my maternal grandparents for granted, but learn as much as possible from them while I can. Their wisdom and insight is by far the most valuable I could gain. And – through me – they can still keep on living adventures as I bring them back to them … because they helped make such adventures possible in the first place.
Thank you to BOTH of my Grandmas and Grandpas! I love you.