Today I had a the great honour of being part of the 60th anniversary celebrations of “Grandma & Grandpa”. While Grandma and Grandpa are not my real grandparents, they are certainly Grandparents in the truest and most cherished sense of the title.
Perhaps what touched me most about the afternoon tea service was that their own children rose up and called them blessed. Sixty years of marriage, six children and numerous grandchildren, and they all had something inspiring to say about Grandma and Grandpa.
Their youngest daughter spoke about how her values had been inherited from her parents and had become like part of her DNA – her genetic makeup. Their son spoke about how as a school principal, much of what he had learned that he uses everyday didn’t come from university, but from his parents and how they raised their family. Of the children and grandchildren who couldn’t make it in person, emailed letters and poems spoke of an enduring love, an example of what unconditional love should look like.
Grandma and Grandpa were certainly humble and acknowledged the many trials and errors they experienced over the years while attributing their success to placing their trust in God. He is the One that brought them through it all, the good times and the bad, and He is the reason that their children have the values and priorities that they do.
We are so blessed as a family to have them in our lives. The sweet couple that they are continually remind us how happy they are to call all of us family at just about every gathering. Each Sunday, each special event, they go out of their way to express love and gratitude to those who have gathered with them.
I was once told that when the disciple whom Jesus loved (John) was at the end of his years, after having survived an attempt to kill him by boiling him in oil, he was carried into church meetings on a mat or a cot to speak. His simple words were only reminders to the congregations that they must love one another.
While Grandma and Grandpa are not so frail as John might have been at that time, their message is very much the same. Love one another. And they have been one of the truest examples of that commandment that I have ever witnessed and experienced in my life.
If after my years on this earth, someone could say of me even a portion of the good that has been exemplified by this precious couple, I would count myself blessed and praise God.