When does our childhood end? Our 40-year-old son says his ended with the death of his beloved Granddaddy Jordan.
As the oldest grandchild, Chad wanted to encourage his younger cousins at the graveside service for their Granddaddy. The words he spoke challenged us all:.
Today is the end of my childhood. With all the transitions of my childhood—all the moves because of my dad’s military assignments, the death of my 6-year-old brother, adding a sister to our family when I was 13, to name a few—there was always one constant.
No matter where we lived, or what changes my life experienced, there was always Granddaddy and Nanny. Their address and phone number never changed. I had the summers to come “home” to because I always had a place to call “home.”
Like any human, Granddaddy had some quirks and imperfections. But to me, he was never unloving, never unkind, and never unforgiving.
Today is the end of my childhood. To my cousins, I want to say We’ve got to grow up. We have to focus on what kind of legacy, what kind of childhood memories will we leave to the children in our lives?
As parents, aunts, uncles, teachers or neighbors, what kind of legacy will we leave to the children who look up to us? What kind of childhood memories are we going to make for them?
Granddaddy left us a legacy. Let his legacy become ours. May we never be unkind. May we never be unloving. And may we never be unforgiving.
When you’re young, you don’t think too much about legacy. I know Dennis and I didn’t think anything about it as parents of small children. We just wanted to survive from one day to the next.
What comes to mind when you think of the following people?
- Mother Teresa
- Billy Graham
- Richard Nixon
These people impacted others during their lifetime and left an impression for those who hear their stories. Some good. Some bad.
I wonder if they thought about legacy building.
All of us are creating legacy whether we intend to or not.
Don’t wait until your senior years to think about that.
Why the death of Granddaddy marks such a definite end to his grandchildren’s childhood is compounded by their Nanny’s severe dementia. She was placed into a Memory Care facility two months ago.
My father-in-law cared for his wife of 57 years in their home—that constant —until he realized he could no longer give the care she needed and deserved. Dad honored his marriage vows to her.
Prayers for my family have centered around this scripture this year:
[God ]is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands. ~ Deuteronomy 7:9
I serve a covenant-keeping God. Because I love him and obey His commands, I can trust Him to show His unfailing love to the 999 generations after me.
That’s spiritual legacy.
Every man leaves a lasting influence that will affect future generations for centuries to come. Not all legacies are the same. A spiritual legacy is one that money can’t buy and taxes can’t take away. A spiritual legacy is passing down to the next generation what matters most. “~ Steven J. Lawson
The above photo shows Dennis, his dad, and Chad at a Promise Keepers gathering one summer in the late 90’s. Three generations building spiritual legacy together.
What kind of legacy are you building with the children in your life?
God gave you a life. Let’s make it a legacy. ~ Susan Gaddis
You are loved,