Jun. 14, 2017

Family...the place that when you go there they have to let you in.

 “Grandchildren are the crown of the aged..” Prov. 17:6

“May you live to see your children’s children!” ps. 128:6

Happily, best buddy and tireless companion for the past fifty years, John, and I have indeed lived to see our children’s children and what a fantastic group of people they all are. We are grateful they keep having babies and graduate from college with impressive degrees and some are even considering jobs! We are grateful they marry into families with people we immediately love forever and that they keep inviting us to stuff...whether we bring potato salad or not!

We have just enjoyed the first visit from our Texas grandchildren, Jessie, who is 9, and Emily, who will be 7 next month, and their mommy, Crissy, in years. Ten days of fun, excitement, laughter and chaos. We have cooked dozens of sausages, eggs, pancakes and cut up tons of strawberries and cantaloupe. We have dined out all over town, long luxurious lunches featuring mac and cheese and pizza with ranch dressing for small people and more exotic fare for the older folks...P F Chang’s we love you! You, too, Claim Jumper, BJ’s and La Fiesta Grande!

We went to the movies: Captain Underpants and The Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Yes, we totally enjoyed Captain Underpants! They went to Disneyland and had a fabulous time with daughter, Patti, and her amazingly obliging grownup children, Nicole, Blake and Luke, but, thankfully, not us!

Patti, and son-in-law, Dave, put on two barbeque-swim parties for us, loaded with family and fabulous food. We went to the beach, dined outside then ventured down to the shore where Jessie promptly threw herself into the water...an inch at a time...till she was totally soaked. Did we have another set of clothes or even a bathing suit? Of course not! But there’s a Target on every corner and a new outfit is easy to do. So Jessie is challenging waves and Emily is seeking shells. She had the best time ever finding small shells and putting them in a cup to take home. It was cool and cloudy, but perfect to see the beach for the very first time in their lives. They saw mountains, too, for the very first time! Texas is flat...flat...flat. They have gone home now, but we have wonderful new memories and great pictures.

Family is the most wonderful gift, created by God. Some of His families haven’t worked out so well; Cain and Abel come to mind. We have had children hissing at each other, “I hate you!” when they were twelve-ish and younger, but they didn’t really mean it. David and his son, Absalom come to mind...a very sad story there where Absalom wanted to overthrow his father and be king... there was a battle and Absalom was killed. When the messenger arrived from the battle, David asked, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” The messenger replied, “Let the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise up against you for evil, be as that young man!” Needless to say, David’s heart was broken... “The king was deeply moved and went to the chamber over the gate and wept. And he said as he walked, “Oh my son, Absalom, my son, my son! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” 2 Samuel 31-32

We have had seasons when we have wept over one or another of our children or grandchildren but for the most part, we have been blessed beyond belief with everyone in our family.

“The most important thing in the world is family and love.” John Wooden

“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you as you are to them.” Desmond Tutu

“The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works, is the family.” Lee Iacocca

And the reason our family works and we love one another, in spite of our flaws, is because John is the strong anchor that holds us all together. Sunday is Father’s Day and we will celebrate the fathers in our family, starting with John. It’s another opportunity to tell him we appreciate him and are grateful for the man of God he has always been.

Hoping your Father’s Day is one of joy, good memories, laughter and really great food!