Our Story …
One of the great joys for an old man is to be with his grandchildren. Grandchildren see you in a way that no other human can. It’s the unexplainable love of a little human who somehow likes being with that old, somewhat broken human.
It Is Written …
The Bible explains this in a simple way. It says that grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their parents (Prov 17:6). In one, simple verse, the wise writer skims through the generations and ties family all together.
The Catechism explains it, of course. That’s what a good Catechism does. In this case, it tells the reader that “filial” respect promotes harmony in all of family life (CCC 2219). In plain English, it says that the respect due from a son or daughter makes the family healthy.
This filial respect, though focused on relationships among the generations, also applies to brothers and sisters. But for now, let’s just focus on the good stuff that is so important to Grandfather Earl — grandchildren are the crown of the old ones.
Life Goes On …
Without even thinking about it, the little granddaughter approaches the old man in humility and meekness. She does so with patience and in charity. It’s not because the old guy deserves such homage. It’s actually because the unspoiled child just knows it’s the right thing to do.
So Grandfather Earl sits with his grandchildren whenever he can. He made many mistakes parenting his own children, just as they are making some obvious mistakes parenting Earl’s grandchildren. But who could have blamed him? Grandfather Earl was so young and foolish back then. And he had so much responsibility.
Being a grandfather gives old men like Earl a second chance. This time around, the focus is not on discipline or structure. His duty and responsibility is to love them. And although “lap time” is an important part of that job, it’s not the main thing. Grandfather Earl and Grandmother Deni pray everyday for their grandchildren.
That’s what old Earl has learned. When the grandchildren are all gone and the house is quiet, Grandfather Earl talks to his Father in heaven about those precious young lives that are a part of Earl’s generations.
“Bless them, dear Lord,” he has been heard whispering in the quiet aftermath of their visits. “Love them for me until they return to my old, gray home.”
That’s our story and we’re sticking to it. It’s cool to be Catholic. COOL2B!