Monday was our first full day at my grandmother’s house. It is so good to be here. There is a part of me that is like Peter. I think we should build tabernacles and stay awhile. But I know this is a rare gift, and it cannot last forever.
Of course once we arrived we had visitors. My Uncle Jim and Aunt Carol spent the whole afternoon and evening. They brought over a tub of dollar store toys. My boys loved them. Better than the toys was the romp with Uncle Jim. He has a special gift with children. Like the pied piper he captivates them; sooner than the blink of an eye they follow his lead into merry chaos. The joke was passed around several times that mothers of small children do not let their kids sit by him at dinner. I can fully appreciate that wisdom now.
There was something about the inflection of Jim’s voice, the wild imaginations spurting from his lips, the quipping of hands animated with grand stories that made similar moments with my own grandfather, memories from my childhood, come alive again. I could hear my own giggles in the peals of laughter, my own heightened anticipation of what would come. The child, hidden in the grown man, never disappoints. Not then, not now.
I have missed my grandfather’s presence since he passed away. He died while I was pregnant with my first son, Noah. So none of my children have ever met him, but I try to keep his memory alive by introducing them to his picture, telling them “Silly Papaw” stories. I love though, that his presence is still with us in uncanny ways. I love that my children get to live the adventure I once tasted as a child, through the descendants of the man I admired so much. I am reminded of the scripture from Isaiah 55:12-14: “For you shall go out in joy and be led back in peace. The mountains and the hills shall burst into song and the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn bush shall grow up the cypress; instead of the briar shall grow up the myrtle. And it shall be to the LORD a memorial, everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
Yesterday we all went eat at a favorite local Mexican restaurant. When the food came I asked the boys if they wanted to pray. The two year old did what he always does, muttered quietly to himself with his head bowed, suddenly popping up with a loud “Amen!” Since no one could make out the mumbles I asked the five year old if he wanted to pray. He led us in the basic “Thank you Jesus for our food, Amen.” We commenced with the devouring of the feast before us. When our meal was drawing to a close an older woman who was making her way out of the restaurant came over to my seat. She said it was such a wonderful thing that I was teaching my children to pray at such an early age. She said it was a wonderful legacy, something that she had been taught and had also passed on. I couldn’t help but think of my mother and grandmother sitting there with us, my grandfather looking on from Heaven. I’m only teaching what I was taught. It is something worth saving and sending on.
Our legacy is the everlasting sign that shall not be cut off. What we receive from those who go before us, and what we pass on to those who come behind us, becomes the living memorial to God, the sign that others can look to, pointing them to the Presence that is always there. So my grandfather is with us still, in the stories, in the mannerisms of his children, in the faith he so faithfully taught us, in the GOD he so faithfully followed whom we follow still.