Over the last few years I’ve spent considerable time looking into the past. It all started when I discovered a ragged scrapbook filled many years ago with family details by my mother-in-law. Its tattered pages, smudged in places by faded thumb prints, held memories of youth and dozens of birth, marriage and death announcements. Like a fish reeled in by the schemes of deceased dear ones, I was hooked. Though I had vowed to never be ensnared by genealogy, my adventure into the past began.
For at least a moment, though, my attention has been drawn to those who follow. On June 3rd, the family gathered to celebrate the wedding of my 2nd oldest grandson, causing my thoughts to move from distant past to family future. Each of our four children is raising their own family – our ten grandchildren – and they’ve made us proud. It is evident that each, in their own way, has accepted and carried forward the value system we tried to model for them. I find it awesome to watch their children.
For example, the one who got married this weekend was wed while on a short leave from Nicaragua. He and his new bride volunteer in that Central American country, lending their talent and energy to improve the lives of strangers. His older brother and wife are the proud (but tired) parents of two infants, one adopted at birth. His plans for starting and managing a cattle spread in conjunction with an already successful Nebraska farm owned by his wife’s family will surely enhance that family’s business ventures. Fresh out of school with a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture, the next boy begins work next week. The company where he interned while in college has created a position for him. (It doesn’t get any better than that for a recent graduate.) The final of four in that family has finished her first year of college and is on her way to a career in music.
A gap in years separates our eldest son’s family from our younger set of grandchildren. Among these is a boy – a whiz-kid on the computer – who excels in school, has his black belt in taekwondo, and is learning Japanese just for the fun of it. Another grandson, committed to a life involving heavy machinery, has already started his own lawn business at the age of fourteen. His sister loves to experience life in all its forms with a special artist’s touch. His cousin, sister to the “whiz kid” has decided to take up track. Currently in 6th grade, she knows that in order to qualify as the first girl to play baseball at her future high school, she better be fast and spry.
One granddaughter, a young woman who knows her mind and is willing to stand up for what is right, has just been nominated for the National Honor Society at the age of thirteen. Another, bringing up the end of the train, is our ten year old who has the seriousness, wisdom and kindness of an adult three times her age.
Here’s to the future. Who wouldn’t be proud?