I did not cry when I got the call here late afternoon on Tuesday, as Ohio is four hours ahead of my home in Southeast Alaska. I did not cry, actually, until a full day later...when my father, his eldest son, shared how my grandfather, in conversation with people in the hospital, would say he had "eight great grandchildren."
This, at first, didn't make sense.
Doing the math, my cousin Shannon has a daughter and her sister Nikki has two sons. I have four children, which makes seven.
He said he had eight.
He has eight?
He has eight.
"Children too are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full." Psalm 127
When my father shared that my grandfather, as he lay dying, was counting my tiny daughter amoung his great grandchildren...the knot was in my throat and I felt a tingle in my body...of being loved and understood. My grandfather, a just and wise man, a man of greatness, shared the joy of this unborn child with me.
Thank you grandpa for affirming my vocation.
Thank you grandpa for valuing her little life already...that she COUNTS.
In a world where so many do not value the blessings of children, my grandfather knew the pearl of great value.
And I cried. I did. On the phone, with my father...who has received the grace to be who his family needed to be in the hours that unfolded...I cried.
Yes, I got a little choked up on Wednesday but was able to compose myself and chat some more. I asked to speak to my grandmother. Her example of service to her husband in the past year was such holy and selfless work...I will save it for another post.
She was beautiful on the phone, to say the least...pulling out of herself, as she has done her whole life, and asking ME questions about MY life.
Grandma Marilyn did say this...she said that my grandfather always said to,
"Keep kids around you, they keep you young."
She added that, "He loved having kids around."
My grandfather and I have a lot in common...
So, my friends, there will ALWAYS BE comments...when we have to make that quick stop in the store, with all the littles, who although they behave themselves will no doubt draw the..."you have your hands full"...."are they all yours?"..."you're busy"....comments out of others.
Yes, humans are rather predictable, particularly the ignorant ones with no filters, but we can smile because by having our littles around we have unlocked that great secret...our own fountain of youth.
How blessed we are!
We KNOW the littlest ones!
So, don't pay attention to the ignorant people, and there are MANY of them. Be patient and have hope in the wise ones (I WRITE THIS FOR MEEEEEEE!).
The WISE ones who are rather unpredictable at times because they have been thinking and observing and seeking to understand. If we are privileged enough, they may speak....even as they are about to go Home...and proclaim the good news, the news you are longing to hear.
My grandfather knew the littlest ones and he loved his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren....he loved them all from the moment he knew they existed.
Thank you Grandpa, I find great comfort knowing that you are so near now and can be more part of this fullness.
God bless you! Go love on your families. xxoo