COMMENTARY

Grandpa’s hands

Kansas City StarSeptember 19, 2013 

…one generation shall praise your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts-Psalm 145:4.

Grandchildren are the little footsteps that connect generations; if I would have known how wonderful it would be to have grandkids, I would have had them first.

I realized instantly that my eight grandchildren are the Lord’s way of compensating my wife and I for growing old, as stated in Proverbs 16:31 – “the silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.” There really is truth to the age-old quip, you can make up for all your parental shortcomings, when you are enjoying your grandkids, and yes; they will actually go home the next day. Maybe, that is why on the seventh day, God rested.

As a kid, I always felt that I missed out, I never experienced “those memories” of a grandmother or a grandfather. I would often hear my play mates brag about the fun times with their “Papa or Nana”; whether it was riding the old tractor around grandpa’s farm, or a Saturday morning stringing a trout line by the pond, or early Sunday afternoon sneaking a piece of grandma’s famous home-made butterscotch pie, even those special late nights, laughing and playing “spades” around the kitchen table. Oh yeah, how could I forget to add all of those secret hiding places in the old attic? But, the one boast that always stood out, is how they would describe what it felt like when they were holding grandma’s hand at church, while she joyfully sang her favorite religious hymns.

“They shall still bear fruit in old age, they shall be fresh and flourishing”-Psalm 92:14. There are fathers and mothers who do not love their own children, yet there is not one grandmother or grandfather who does not adore their grandson or granddaughter. I often wonder what it would have been like to experience and recall these treasured memories, but I also hear the tales of the far-away grandparents, the ones who live across town but were distant in heart.

News Flash!You really do not have to do very much to become a good grandparent; can you roll around on the floor under a make-believe blanket tent, share a funny story, offer a front door hug, put a diaper on right side up, set up a backyard pool with a hose and a sprinkler, give an endless “horsey ride” or sit through hours of SpongeBob while feasting on that long hidden can of SpaghettiOs? Yes.

One of my bravest grandsons always tells me, “Papa, you are the oldest person in the world” Correct! After two hours with him, I believe it, too. I keep asking myself why I never learned self-defense, especially when Saturday mornings come around; but the one thing that the Lord has given me, and every grandparent is on-the-spot joy, the needle on my happiness meter is always bouncing towards overflow.

We hear it all the time – “there has got to be more than this” – everyone is looking for a brighter, easier, more encouraging way to get through their day, so many grandmothers and grandfathers have come and gone, their faces fading over time, those memories become our treasures. But the one memory that will last for generations is the warming joy, I feel deep inside when my grandkids are squeezing my hands.

 

Bill Regan serves as a personal stewardship coach with Summit Pointe Consulting and is Director of Development for Coldwater as well as Executive Director of hopeyourselfUP, a Christian focused leadership program. Bill and his wife, Karen live in Greenwood and are proud parents of six children and eight wonderful grandchildren

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