Enduring treasures

Published 4:09 pm Friday, April 12, 2019

Tuesday evening all our kids and grandkids gathered at our house for a little celebration—it was our youngest daughter’s 37th birthday.  When I got home from work I fired up the charcoal grill and heated up the cooker, and with a little help from Nana in the kitchen, it was not long before we had some of Papa’s hamburgers that they all like so much along with a huge pile of fries.  After the meal—which was topped off with a big slice of that fantastic DQ ice cream cake—we took a little time and reminisced about the events that transpired on that date back in 1982.

I shared with Jessica that when she was born she was not kicking and screaming, but calm and quiet (Much different than she is today.  My, how time changes things!).  Everything appeared to be going well, but her first night on planet earth turned out to be a long one.  Her hands and feet became very dark, and the staff overseeing her care at the hospital could not give us an explanation as to why.  They put a little cap on her head and put her under a heat lamp, but that did not solve the condition.  It probably was not as serious as it appeared to Gale and me as very young parents, but we were understandably uneasy.  To make it more stressful, Gale could overhear activity in the nursery area and she realized that there was an emergency with one of the babies. 

As it turned out the emergency was not with our child and after a day or two, everything improved and we were able to take her home to our little house in the country.  That, too, was interesting.  Her sister, who was two years old, was at home and ready to meet the new addition to our family.  Sandra had toys all laid out; she thought the little one we were bringing home would be able to get down in the floor and play with her and her toys immediately.  After a little education about infants, she understood that it would be some time before they could play together.

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Looking back, that day in April almost forty years ago seems like such a short time ago.  And when I think about how old I will be in forty more years it brings about a reality check, and when I remind myself that the odds of me even living another forty years are pretty low, it grabs my attention.  At the same time, I am thankful for the present and the good times that we still enjoy as a family.

After the burgers and fries were consumed and as the evening ebbed away, it was time for everybody to leave so Nana and Papa could turn in for the night.  As I held Reagan, who is eighteen months old and absolutely full of life, her daddy tried to take her but she strongly refused.  Gale reached out for her and she quickly went to her, but when Jessica tried to take her she again protected and refused.  Even at that young age she knows what it means to come to her grandparents’ house and she loves it.  We do not have anything fancy or outstandingly entertaining that steals her attention; it’s just us as a family and she recognizes that.  (And maybe pulling her in the old red Radio Flyer wagon or taking her for a ride on Papa’s John Deere has some effect!)

Time passes and our lives change, but time spent as a family and memories built together over the decades endure.  Matthew 6:21 informs us:  “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (New International Version).  May we all be careful to treasure the things that are of greatest importance.