As I prepare to become a father later this year I find myself reflecting today on those in my family who have come before.
I remember Grandpa Clinger and his rock solid nature. I remember his strength, his caring presence, and his clear-cut sense of what was right and wrong (even though he was always willing to err on the side of grace). I remember his love for his wife, for his family, and for his community. I remember how he wouldn’t hesitate to help a neighbor or anyone who needed a hand.
I remember Grandma Clinger and her gentle spirit, her deep faith, and her great sense of humor. I remember getting her going to the point where she’d laugh so hard she had to take off her glasses and wipe her tears. I remember her patting my enlarging (and large) belly and asking, “what are you planning to do with this?” – always with a twinkle in her eye. I remember the newspaper articles that she would cut out and mail when she thought of us. I remember the emails she’d send once we got her the mail station. I remember the genuine love she showed her family and her friends.
I remember Grandma Rademaker and her always giving, serving, caring nature. I remember how “recreational eating” was a family pastime because she always wanted to make sure that everyone always had (more than) enough of their favorites. I remember her desire to know about what was happening with her grandkids and her desire to spoil them with gifts and affection. I remember her contagious laughter that could always get others laughing.
As I remember today, I find myself feeling grateful and hopeful. I am grateful for these persons who have lived and loved in ways that have shaped me. I am hopeful for how their legacy will shape the life of Baby Clinger and many others for years to come.