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Posts Tagged ‘grandchildren’

One of our grandchildren recently stayed with us for the first time alone without his parents or siblings.  As I was packing his bag for the return to his own home, this three-year-old looked at me and said, “I want to stay.”  Those are words that warm a grandmother’s heart.

But why did he want to stay?  Was it because everything he did was fun?  Was it because he received my complete and undivided attention?

And why, after he left, did I wander through the house in such a melancholy mood?    

I began to question myself as a grandmother.  Had I given my grandson enough of my attention?  Did I play with him enough?  Did I do all the things he wanted to do?

No, I had not.  In struggling with this, my thoughts were turned to my own childhood and memories of overnight stays with my grandparents.  What do I remember most about those visits?  Why were they so special?  Did my grandmothers sit down and read to me every time I asked?  Did they get on the floor with me to play games?  Did they take me to the park or give me ice cream when I asked?  No.  Those things are not etched in my memory. 

When staying a week with my grandfather and grandmother who lived in another town, I often entertained myself.  I created my own “house,” prepared meals in my own “kitchen,” took care of my baby dolls, played dress-up; in other words, I did all the things I watched my grandmother doing.  I wasn’t getting all her attention, but I was in her presence.  I was near enough to hear her, watch her, imitate her.  I remember going with her to the garden where she picked the lettuce for the salad she made for my lunch.  She was working, and I was in her presence… either attempting to pick leaves of lettuce, too, or content that she was caring for my needs while I ran around the yard chasing butterflies.  

I spent even more time with the grandparents who lived only a mile from me.  I do not remember my grandma sitting down to play with me or taking me to the park.  What I remember is how she talked with me while she baked bread or cookies and how she invited me to help by asking me to set the table.  I listened to her speak with kindness as I watched her labor with her hands.  I remember that she was never idle.  When she wasn’t attending to the affairs of her household, she was volunteering at church, singing in the choir, or nurturing relationships by opening her home to family and friends.  At the end of a long day, my grandma settled into her chair and took up her crocheting.  She was making someone a birthday present or perhaps a blanket for a new baby.  Grandma wasn’t ignoring me.  She was mentoring me.  She was welcoming me into her life and teaching me how to do the things she did, most of them for others.

In my grandma’s presence, I felt respected and somehow older than I really was.  I knew she cared enough to have me in her home and help me discern right from wrong.  Whether I was in the same room with her or in another room pretending to be a grown up like her, I was blessed being in her presence.  In this way, my grandma was focused on me.  She was preparing me to be an adult. 

These memories are a great comfort as I think about my grandson’s visit.  I remember him swiffing the floor while I prepared dinner, planting a pretend field of corn with his John Deere tractor while I finished writing a letter to a friend, and building a fort while I organized last minute details for a community “Life Fair.”  I wasn’t on the floor with him, but we shared a companionship in our “work.”  These activities of our day made into good bedtime stories before praying that God would give us restful sleep and the promise of new morning.

Why was I in a melancholy mood after my grandson’s departure?  The house was empty of his presence.

And when my grandson said, “I want to stay,” I think he was telling me that being in my presence mattered to him, too.

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Bob Morrison is a friend — for life.  Our pro-life paths crossed many years ago.  Bob is both a student and teacher of history.  He quotes the Founding Fathers with ease — and due respect.  When he served as Director of the LC-MS Office of Government Information, he arranged an educational day with speakers on Capitol Hill plus a servant event exclusively for my youth group.  Today, he serves with the Family Research Council.

Like so many of us, Bob is looking for leadership that will help build a culture of life.  He is quite sure he has found that man in a young senator from Florida named Marco Rubio.  Rubio is not running for presidential office.  Bob believes he should.  I asked Bob if he would explain why.  In addition to sending me YouTubes of Rubio’s speeches, Bob sent the following:

“Many agree that Marco Rubio is a rising star.  I believe he’s a risen star.  Ten years of productive service at the state level, including his Speakership of the Florida House, give him exactly the experience we want to effectively send most domestic issues — like education — back to the states.  If we believe in federalism, we need to trust proven state leaders.  Rubio, paired with Jon Kyl, would easily beat Barack Obama.  Americans, I believe, are hungering for the kind of principled, conservative leadership Rubio and Kyl can provide.

“Rubio will give those who supported Barack Obama in 2008, but did not vote in 2010, a way to make history again.  Those voters believed they were doing something new and hopeful in American politics.  They were.  But sadly for them and us, Barack Obama has disappointed their hopes.

“Here’s fact: The one we like must be liked by someone else.  There are simply not enough pro-life, pro-marriage Christians in the general electorate to create a wave election.  And it will take a wave election to give Rubio and Kyl the kind of Congress needed to pull our country back from the brink.

“Marco Rubio is the only man who can create the kind of excitement necessary to motivate volunteers . . .  to bring the campuses back to life.

“Marco Rubio knows why America is exceptional, because he believes that God has uniquely blessed this Great Republic, and because he can communicate great principles to all Americans — in eloquent English and in powerful Spanish.  The hour is late.  We all hear that Marco Rubio has a great future.  If we nominate him now, we too will have a great future.”

The future  matters to Bob because he is a grandfather.  Bob is one of many grandfathers who wants to leave something for — not take away from — his children and his children’s children.  With that in mind — and for God and Country — Bob says: “Write in Rubio-Kyl.  Let’s rescue the future.”

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