Dad died in November of 2010. All of his grandkids and some of his great grandkids attended his funeral. It so happened that four of his grandkids had babies not too long before he died, bringing the total number of great grands at that time to 10. I remember four mommies standing in the back of the church bouncing Asher, Austin, Mylee, and Jenna, to keep them from crying. I could imagine my mother in heaven smiling.
We were happy as we all learned of the upcoming births earlier that year. But what I really recall about that joyous news was that Jen told our father, “Dad, you’re like Abraham. You have descendants like the stars in heaven.”
She, of course, was referring to the Book of Genesis when God told Abram, “Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so shall your descendants be.”
Now there are a total of 14 great grandkids, ranging in age from 1 to almost 11. So between those 14 great grands and his four kids and nine grandkids, he really was like Abraham. And we are all like the stars in his heaven.
I’ve mentioned before that it makes me sad to think that my mother didn’t get a chance to meet any of her great grands. She would have loved them all. Dad certainly did, and enjoyed being around them until he was too sick to enjoy very much. I have a vivid memory, however, of bringing my granddaughter Kaiya to visit him when she was just a baby. As an infant, Kaiya didn’t much like being with people she didn’t know well. But that day she sat on Dad’s lap and he spoke quietly to her saying words that I couldn’t hear, and she didn’t make a peep. She just stared intently into his face. It was like she understood every word he was saying. That’s a great memory.
Yesterday afternoon, Jen and Bill and I hosted a gathering of family in honor of Jen’s visit. I’m happy to say that just like Field of Dreams, when it comes to family gatherings, if we build it they will come. With a few exceptions, the family poured into our little house in Mesa and gathered! Food, laughter, Coronas and bloody marys, NASCAR, carne asada, guacamole, Maggie’s green chile, Christopher’s smoked pork butt – we had it all.
And as she often does, Jen had a great idea. Let’s commemorate the great grands in a visible way, she said.
So the cousins who were present all used their individual artistic ability to design their own tile. The ones who weren’t able to be there will get their chance as well. When all are completed, we will bake them to make the design permanent, and display them in some manner.
We managed to get the kids to sit still long enough to take this photo. Painfully shy Jenna is trying to hide in the back row, and her sister Lexi, newly out of the hospital where she spent almost a week because of an infection that wouldn’t budge, is crying heartily, none too happy to be away from her mommy for too long.
But you know, the photo shows Mom and Dad were, indeed, like Abraham, and their descendants are like the stars in heaven.
This post linked to the GRAND Social