Let those children play...
Had the opportunity to spend Friday night and Saturday morning at Phil Waldrep's Gridiron Men's Conference this past weekend. One of the speakers was Jonathan Evans...and if that last name sounds familiar, yes, he's the son of the great communicator, Tony Evans. While ALL of the speakers were wonderful...something Jonathan said in his remarks struck a chord. He was recounting the story of his grandfather passing. The family had brought him home to pass, surrounded by family and friends.
His grandchildren and great-grandchildren - many of them very young - were there. And, of course, as little kids do, they were running around, chasing each other, carrying on and just being loud. Jonathan's mother asked her father if she should "shoosh" the kids or make them go outside.
With what little breath he had left, the dying patriarch said (and I'm paraphrasing), "Oh no, if I'm going to die today, those are the sounds I want to hear."
In other words, being surrounded by the love of his family was a comfort - not an annoyance. It gave him peace and a wonderful way to leave this world and meet his Savior on the other side.
I have often said myself that if my kids (and now grandkids too) will just give me a kiss on the cheek during my final few moments, that will be reward enough. Now that we have experienced the joy of having grandchildren, that thought has been reinforced a million times over.
I can't count the number of times I've failed as a parent...as a grandparent. Made a rash decision without knowing all the facts...said something in haste without thinking...gotten bent out of shape because of the transmission in a certain son's monster Dodge truck went out after a night of mud-riding on Priceville mountain... but thank goodness their mom (and now, Sugar) was there with wisdom and grace.
And now, when the grands come over, chaos quickly ensues. Our downstairs is all tile and hardwood, so every sound echoes and is amplified seemingly ten fold. Sometimes things get LOUD. Siblings fight over a Ninja Turtle - even though there are 35 to choose from. And heaven forbid anyone touch something the smallest of "the Lot" has claimed ownership of. (She WILL let you know....)
But you know, that's the sound of happiness...and love...and joy. Not necessarily peace...but all the other things. :)
I hope to have many more years surrounded by those sounds. The grands are growing like weeds - and will one day have rug rats of their own. But I can only hope when "that day" comes, I'll hear that same chaos echoing through the halls as I get a final kiss on the cheek. That will be reward enough - and a reminder that I've been blessed beyond measure.
Here's a song from Mountain Breeze from "back in the day" - "Down Home" by Paul Shepherd. Hope you enjoy.