Happy Birthday, Grandpa!
Today is my maternal grandfather’s 94th birthday. On my side of the family, he is the last grandparent. All four of my grandparents played a large part in my life. My sister and I would spend a month with each set of grandparents in the summer. With this Grandpa, we’d be on the farm. We would pull weeds from the garden and get paid one penny for every nail we picked up from the driveway or machine shop. We’d can and freeze fruits and vegetables for the winter. We would play with the cats and one dog. Grandma would drive the pickup truck out into the field so we could give Grandpa and the “hired man” a cool drink of water. We would play cards in the evening while watching tv from the satellite dish. We would shoot off fireworks on the 4th of July and ride a bike in the town parade. We would swim in the creek (pronounced crick) and ride the three wheeled bicycle. And every Sunday we’d go to church.
Today the song, Faith of our Fathers, has been playing in my head. And I would have used the gender neutral, Faith of the Martyrs, from the New Century Hymnal, but I wasn’t thinking about those ancestors in our faith. Today, I’m thinking about and thankful for the regular people in my life who lived out their faith and passed it on to the next generation. I’m thankful for my grandfather’s 94 years of life, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to see him soon to celebrate with him.
Thank you for the people in our lives who live our their faith in quiet, simple ways. Thank you for the people we see in church each week. Thank you for those who take us under their care and show us how to love you. Thank you for grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, cousins, siblings, both those who are our blood relatives and our chosen families. Open our eyes and our spirits to the ways we can share our faith in simple ways too.
Thank you for Grandpa. Be with all the older adults who aren’t able to live in their homes anymore. Watch over them when their families cannot be present. Remind them they are loved by you and by families and friends. We give thanks for those who make it their life’s work to care for others. For another year of life, we give you thanks. Amen.
Grandpa’s First Selfie!