Today I have been thinking about all the fathers in my life. There are many. Of course my own father and Jim's father came immediately to mind, we miss them always and wish we could turn to them for guidance often. And most especially, my husband who has been the most amazing father our children could have ever had. From the moment we became acquainted with the fact that we were expecting our first child, he has been a supportive father. Always there, always ready to reach out and give of himself. He has been a spiritual leader in our family, always a teacher, a servant and always a good example. He loves in a total way. What child or wife could want for more than that?
We love and miss our grandfathers. Jim's grandfather in many ways became my best-known, best-loved grandfather too. We stood overlooking the graves of our family today. Grampa Andrew, our fathers, and Jim's brother, Gary. Wow! What dynamite men. Each and every one of them good, really good fathers. We feel that good part of them inside of us in a real way.
When I look at our pedigree charts and try to imagine each of our grandfathers going way back, I sense they were very good people. I wish I could know them and feel we will one day. Of course there is always the exception and none of them were perfect, even as we are not. But still they were mostly good at heart.
As I have worked hard to learn about them I am blessed to instinctively know that. Each of God's children has that spark of the divine, even when our human eyes may not readily see it. We are all a composite of those who came before us. Today I am feeling that like never before. A family is a sacred heritage that goes on and on in each direction. We belong to each other.
I think of our brothers, Steve and Gary and Jim's brother...they are all good fathers. Jim's brother died at 26 with only one child, but I see the effects of his goodness in his grandson, Thomas. Who we are affects our posterity for generations. I think of our uncles, all good men and fathers. Our cousins, tremendous men that have contributed much to this world. Our friends, each one a good father and raising or has raised remarkable young people.
I have witnessed how the ones who left us early in life are missed so terribly much by their families, like Bill, Larry, John, Sione, and most recently, Alan. The mark a father leaves behind is tangible, precious and to be remembered. Our sweet friends that are still here are all active, happy grandfathers and even some great-grandfathers. They are 100% in for the durations with their families. They live their children and grandchildren's joys and sorrows right along with them. We love you.
This is such a joy to witness over generations. Who says getting older is not so good, does not look around with eyes to see. As we look at the exemplary families of our children's spouses, Melissa, Lowell and Robert we see their great parents whose goodness has visited itself upon our shared grandchildren. That influence is huge, meaningful and a great blessing to us.
We are privileged to watch our sons, Chris and the two wonderful sons our daughters married. They amaze me to the point that a hush falls over the room sometimes as I see them at work. They have given all for their children and their families. We truly are the result of the love of thousands. How can that not bring unspeakable joy to us today?
We watched a wonderful young father say good-bye to his four day old son, as the baby returned back to heaven, just weeks ago. Through the strength of their little family and the baby's very supportive grandparents, many have been lifted up in faith and hope and love~forever changed. We will love you forever, Chapmans. We have been taught by your deep love and faith in our Father in Heaven.
Just a little while ago I spoke with my sister-in-law, Emily, to wish her a happy birthday today. She told me of our nephew, Nicholas, and his wife, Mara and their first new baby, Quinn, just a few months old. She told me of their complete devotion to their little one, barely having time for anything else in their lives, in the newness of it all. And I realized another new Dad has been born, completely and totally devoted to his little girl. And I see, my brother, my dad, our grandfathers, uncles and cousins. They are all a part of that eternal influence that insures Quinn she belongs to something big and powerful and where she will always be loved and cherished....her family.
May we all have had a wonderful day of reflection upon all the fathers in our lives that have been the best they knew how to be and may we feel a special joy in knowing that they have touched us for the better through their love and inherent goodness. Thank you to all our wonderful Dads related or otherwise! And Thanks be to Our Heavenly Father for blessing us with all of you.
James with Jennifer 3 days old!
"If in John 14:2 the word "mansion" is replaced with the Hebrew word "bayit" - meaning "family" - we get a very different interpretation of what the Savior was saying to His disciples when He talked about "mansions" within His Father's house. "In my Father's house are many families. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you (plural, meaning you and your family) ... that where I am, there ye many be also."
By Ryanna Ollivier~ Meridian Magazine 6/17/13