In the years after our children had grown to adults, but before they were parents, I held the belief that we had accomplished everything that was really important. It was my way of finding reconciliation with the impermanence of life.
We had given our children the tools to engage life: a good work ethic, a strong moral code, higher education, and health within the limits of our ability and their good fortune. It seemed to me that this was everything that was truly important and anything more that life allowed was “icing on the cake”.
I declared this at dinner one evening. At table were good friends, one a youthful grandmother. She took exception to my words. Imprudently, I persisted and her responding objections grew more vociferous. Finally, our respective spouses interceded to redirect our dinner conversation to the peace of calmer waters.
In the years since, we have had the good fortune to become grandparents. I have watched Christine grow into her role as a grandmother and I have witnessed the dimension that she has added to the experience of childhood for the “little people”. It is clear to me now that important work remained for us in life as grandparents to these children. I can scarcely imagine life for us without them, or life for them without Christine.
Although it has been more than 10 years since that dinner conversation, it often returns to my thoughts when I see the exchange of unconditional love and respect between Christine and the grandchildren. I am also beneficiary of the children’s affection, but there is an intangible depth to the relationship that they share with their grandmother.
You were right Jane… Mea Culpa.
Peace Everyone. Pete