As we celebrated my granddaughter Kari’s 8th birthday this past week I came across the column I wrote about the day she was born and all that captured my heart and mind then… and now.
4:10 AM July 21, 2011
It is 4:10 in the morning and here I sit nervously awaiting the arrival of the first addition of a new generation in my family. A life that will long outlive my time here on earth and will no doubt enjoy the privilege of seeing things I can only imagine. What will her world look like? What will her future hold? I am limited in my remaining days and I will only be able to walk with her so far. If I have dipped into the same gene pool as my 94-year-old grandpa, perhaps I will enjoy another 46 years at best. Regardless of my expiration date, she will in all probability outlive me.
5:13 AM July 21, 2011
I have just fallen in love all over again, and as the last time, it is a dark-haired girl that has stolen my heart. As I behold the precious bundle of joy that my son-in-law has placed in my arms I am overwhelmed with emotion. She is perfect in every way… her innocence, her utter dependence on those who love her, and oh those eyes! I whisper to her of my love for her and assure her that we are gonna be good buddies. I couldn’t help but begin the process of telling her that I will always be there and if she ever has trouble with mom & dad she can call on me!
9:30 AM July 21, 2011
Terri and I finally get to our hotel room after a long night and we were really ready for a little sleep. Funny though, I found myself filled with energy and a willingness to pull out my I Phone and share pictures with the hotel staff along with anybody else in the lobby who cared to see pictures of the cutest granddaughter in the world!
3:00 PM July 21, 2011
Back at the hospital now with a little more energy, thanks to a Vento Starbucks coffee or two. My oh my, she’s still just as pretty as the last time we saw her. Now with all this love in my heart, all this emotion filling my soul and this grand dose of wonder filling my mind what am I to do? I began to think, what will my granddaughter get from me? Not in a monetary sense, or the things I will give to her in her lifetime. What will really I hand her? What will I give her that she can carry with her on this journey we call life?
I want to leave her a good name. After the Civil War, the managers of the infamous Louisiana Lottery approached Robert E. Lee and asked if he’d let them use his name in their scheme. They promised that if he did he would become rich. Astounded, Lee straightened up, buttoned his gray coat, and shouted, “Gentlemen, I lost my home in the war. I lost my fortune in the war. I lost everything except my name. My name is not for sale, and if you fellows don’t get out of here, I’ll break this crutch over year heads!” I believe it was Solomon who said, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.”
I want to give her the best of memories? I have been blessed with wonderful parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who loved me and spent time with me. I want her life to be rich in precious memories that she can always rely on to bring a smile to her face and comfort to her heart. Someone once said, “The best things you can give children, next to good habits, are good memories.”
I want to give her wise counsel. I believe one of the best ways I can do that is to point her to the scriptures. I also believe the best way for me to do that is to embody them in my life above all. I love Guy Dowd’s poem, “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day; I’d rather one would walk with me than merely show the way. The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear; Fine counsel is confusing but examples always clear. And the best of all the preachers are the ones who live their creeds, for to see good put in action is what everybody needs. I soon can learn to do it if you let me see it done. I can watch your hands in action but your tongue too fast may run. And the sermon you deliver may be very wise and true, But I’d rather get my lesson by observing what you do, For I might misunderstand you and the high advice you give, But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.” Lord, may you grant to me the honor of being a good Grandpa! Amen
Tim Throckmorton is the former executive pastor for Plymouth Heights Church of the Nazarene in Franklin Furnace, Ohio, and Portsmouth First Church of the Nazarene. He is currently senior pastor at Crossroads Church in Circleville, Ohio.