My grandma Ducey passed away last night. She lived a very long and very good life, so it is hard to do much other than rejoice that she has moved on to a world that is full of a peace and tranquility that earth just can’t offer. Moreover, she got to join my grandfather for their 65th wedding anniversary. I’m sure he had a big celebration planned. She waited until late last evening to join him; women must never lose that thrill of keeping a man guessing.
When people die, especially when family dies, it makes you think. During my morning walk with Elliott today, my thoughts went in two directions. First, I recalled a sermon from many years ago. It was delivered by a pastor I have great respect for, so the words have lived in me and impacted me to this day. He was talking about the day Jesus comes to take him away. With an excited voice he said if he knew the Lord was coming today he would be standing at the bus stop with his bags packed, full of anticipation for the journey home.
This is a man who loves life. He loves his family and the many things the world has to offer, not the least of which is golf. It puzzled me when I first heard him share those words. How could anyone be that excited about leaving this world behind? As I’ve grown older and thankfully wiser, I’ve realized his words weren’t about a desire to die but about faith. A faith that this world is simply a preparation for the life beyond that we were all created to live in. As I’ve grown to understand his words, I’ve grown to look at death in a different light.
My thoughts also drifted to family. I was blessed to grow up living within a short walk of my grandparents and great grandparents. The passing of my grandmother is the passing of the last of that particular piece of the family circle. There were many memories created in that little geographic corner of the world. In those memories are lessons that guide and encourage me more each day. My mom and dad did a great job raising their kids, but I will never be more grateful for anything they gave us than the understanding of family. Having us raised under the influence of grandparents is no small part of that understanding.
I believe so much of the joy I now have as a father is rooted in that understanding of family. I believe so many of the failed marriages today and kids that are raised without the commitment of their parents, is rooted in family cycles absent the discovery of the true value of family, the true meaning of life, that I was blessed with in my upbringing. I thank God my family helped me with that discovery, I thank God that I will be able to share that same discovery with Elliott and Ian.
As we go through this terribly chaotic season of politics, there is little doubt in my mind why it seems so non-productive. When both sides are debating over which party can help us regain the American dream, they do so with very little clue of what that dream really is. Oh, they can help put us on the road to bigger houses, bigger cars, cheaper gas and better education, all of which have some level of importance, but until they start talking about reviving the value of the American family, they are not addressing my dream.
It is my prayer that now that my grandmother has access to influences far greater than Democrat or Republican, she will help me with that dream.
On a side note. Katie's grandmother passed away when she was pregnant with Elliott, now my grandmother has passed away while we are expecting Ian. God has a wonderful way of replenishing the life of a family!