Writers are the custodians of memory, and that’s what you must become if you want to leave some kind of record of your life and of the family you were born into. That record can take many shapes. It can be a formal memoir—a careful act of literary construction. Or it can be an informal family history, written to tell your children and your grandchildren about the family they were born into. It can be the oral history that you extract by tape recorder from a parent or a grandparent too old or too sick to do any writing. Or it can be anything else you want it to be: some hybrid mixture of history and reminiscence. Whatever it is, it’s an important kind of writing. Too often memories die with their owner, and too often time surprises us by running out.
In Holy Writ, we always see grandparents listed with family. For example,when Jacob and his family went down to Egypt to live, his sons and his son’ssons’ and sons’ daughters are mentioned, (Genesis 46:5-7).Again in Exodus 10:2, a similar statement is given, In the Bible,we do not see grandparents running the roads in motor homes or living inretirement villages in Florida, neither do we find them thrown off in nursinghomes. Most of the elderly receive physical care in these places apart fromfamily care. The government has helped divide the family through their manyprograms. One of these is Social Security. Not only is it costly, but also itopened a way for grandparents to live independently from their children andgrandchildren. In years past, they had to look to their family for provisions,but not so in our modern society. Many grandparents are separated from familyand their God given role. Their life is centered around bingo, bridge, pulling thelevers of slot machines, and shopping. God help us to realize our purpose inlife as we age and mature in our lives. In Proverbs 17:6, we have apicture of an aging grandparent delighting in his grandchildren. In the firstclause we are told, This verse speaks of a mutual love betweengrandparents and grandchildren that they share in each other. Each relationshipin life is special and unique and the same is true of the grandparents andgrandchildren. It is a gift from our Creator.
l praise to Thee, my God, this night
For all the blessings of the light:
O Keep me, keep me, King of kings,
Beneath Thine own almighty wings.
I thank Thee, Lord, for sleep and rest,
For all the things that I love best,
Now guide me through another day
And bless my work and bless my play.
Lord, make me strong for noble ends,
Protect and bless my loving friends;
Of all mankind good Christians make.
All this I ask for Jesus’ sake.
Hail Mary, Full of Grace,
The Lord Is with thee,
Blessed art thou amongst women
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus;
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners … now,
And at the hour of our death.
Mostof us have fond memories of grandparents who hold a special place in ourhearts. The Bible has much to say about grandparents. They play a major role inthe Kingdom of God. The book of Genesis is a foundational book. It tells aboutfamilies, births, deaths, marriages, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters,grandchildren, and even great grandchildren. By these records, God is showingus the importance of each position. Godly grandparents bring stability,experience, and wisdom to the family, church, and community. As they are dearto the heart of God, we must honor them and lift them up in high esteem, forthey are a gift from heaven. Amen.
After I returned home my father and I spent three straight days together. He watched every minute of the four-hour video I made as if it were a masterpiece. He wanted to hear every detail of my trip: who I met, where I went, what I saw, what foods I liked and disliked, and how I was treated. I assured him that I was welcomed with open arms. Although I still have no photos of my family telling me what their faces looked like, I now have a mental picture of their character. The fact that I was treated so well by complete strangers is a reflection of the respect my grandparents earned from the community. I gave my father boxes of letters and gifts from his old friends: Polish vodka and maps and framed photos and drawings of Plesna.