Tall Trees Take Years To Grow
I am lying on my bed in my new house, looking out the windows at some really tall trees behind the houses across the street, and it got me thinking about Grandparent’s Day. Last Sunday we celebrated Grandparents Day in church. We had a bit of inter-generational fun with a mock game show, honoured the Grandparents by praying for them, and enjoyed morning tea with fruit cake and Arnott's biscuits. My own kids and parents weren’t there, and I no longer have living grandparents, so I spent the day busy with my usual Sunday responsibilities. Now, looking at the tall trees, I reflect on the legacy of my own Grandparents, and the way they have shaped my life.
When I was growing up my mother’s parents had a pool. I have countless happy memories of Saturdays swimming for hours with my sisters, nagging our uncles to play table tennis with us, and finishing the afternoon with a barbecue on Grandpa’s lush, green lawn. There was always ice blocks in the freezer and cricket on the television. So many happy memories…
My father’s parents were pineapple farmers. Grandma and Grandad had an old Queenslander house on stilts with verandas around the outside. I used to stay there a lot when Mum and Dad had to go away. When Grandad wasn’t out on the farm he was usually in his little study at the end of the veranda, reading. He seemed kind of grumpy to us when we were kids, but Grandad was a highly intelligent man who was generous to a fault. Grandma was a very hard worker, and was an amazing cook. She loved her family, every one of us, and she loved Jesus.
Grandma loved Jesus for her 86 year life time. She was outspoken, well-informed and well-read. She was a sacrificial giver of her time, treasure and talents. I remember going with her to the Children’s Home on Thursday evenings to tell under-privileged kids about Jesus. She taught RE in schools and Sunday School in church all her life. She lived her faith and her values with absolute conviction and consistency.
I have an incredible legacy of faith from my parents and grandparents. I will never really grasp just how much they have shaped and influenced me. I know what it feels like to be truly loved, accepted and valued. I’ve seen what life-long faith looks like, what life-long marriage looks like, and what functional, multi-generational family looks like. These are rare and precious gifts indeed.
I don’t know if I will ever have the privilege of being a grandparent (truly, no pressure kids), but if I do, I hope I can continue the legacy of family and faith that my life was built on, given to me from generations before. It takes a really long time to grow a tall tree. It takes a lifetime to build a family legacy.
Happy Grandparent’s Day Grandma. I miss you.