Saturday, November 21, 2015

Grand pa

Something happens psychologically to your brain.

I mean no one wants to be called grandpa. “You’re too slow, grandpa,” a taunt athletes make to each other (or at least I’ve been told. I’ve never been much of an athlete, except when I made the final point my eighth grade year in the final minute of my final basketball career as a B team 3rd stringer! I am proud to say I was the only 3rd stringer of the B team, a title of dubious distinction.)

No one, that is, except for, well, grandpas, I suppose.

Tucker Clark can call me Papa (what I called my grandpa, A.W. Clark...yep, I am the middle link between two Clarks, two generations apart). Or “Pa” which is what I called my other Pa ‘Keown. Or granddad, which is what my kids called Waymon Terry “W.T.” , Melissa’s Dad.

I have even thrown out there “great dad”, you know like how you call your uncle’s father. You don’t say “grand uncle,” you say, “great uncle” so “great dad” has a nice ring to it, if I do say so myself.

Then of course, there’s Pops, Pappy, DanGrad (now that’s a tongue twister if I ever heard one for a kid), and in the comments below you can add some more I am sure.

Jaime McKeown already has my name lined out and Terrynce Caleb  has asked what I want to be called. I’ve been indifferent with no rhyme or reason except that maybe I wasn’t quite sure I was ready to BE a granddad or a Papa or even a great dad.

You see, until I became one, I didn’t feel old enough. Not because I wasn’t old enough, I am. At 53, I am older than Terrynce’s granddad was when he became one at 48. But I’m not as old as my Pa Keown was, who was 58 when I was born. My Papa Clark was born in the 1800s (Now that’s old!) And had my daddy lived, he would have been 55 when Caleb was born! Well, 54 but he would have been 55 on his next birthday. And, I’m not 54, I’m 53! But my calendar and my mirror and my memories belie my feelings of whether or not I feel old enough to be one.

But that was then. On November 18, 2015, I officially became old enough, and my feelings finally caught up with me, and I truly felt like “I really am a grand pa.” Or Grand dad. Or Poppy. Yep, something happens to your brain! Whatever you want to call me, little Tuck, will be just fine, I’m ready now.

P.S. And Tuck, just don’t call me “great dad” after all...after seeing how your daddy took care of my wonderful daughter-in-law through the birthing process...and how lovingly he holds you now, “great dad” can only apply to your dad, and my son, who I am so proud of.


“Hey, I’m going to a funeral , do you want to come?”

I’m not surprised by the answers I got from my kids and you wouldn’t be either.

I said it jokingly (is that wrong to joke about a funeral?), knowing they are here to celebrate a newborn baby, whom they will love forever, not to mourn the passing of a well-lived long life of a Christian whom they (nor I for that matter) never knew.

While the humor may be a tad morbid, it is ironic that we Christians can puzzle over a Biblical truth that says the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.* Irony is also found in that the most cynical and pessimistic book of the Bible, Ecclesiastes, is written by one of the most celebrated, richest, indulgent and even wisest human in the Bible.

Irony and but not surprise is fond that even today, we see a man who just a few years ago claimed he was winning when he clearly was not now has HIV and a mess of legal problems.  My prayer is that he will now seek and find God and truly be winning.

Not all will give birth to a baby, that blessed event. Not all births are joyful nor are all lives blessed or even at the end thought to be worth living. Or even worthy of living. Some deaths of notoriously evil persons are indeed celebrated. You yourself may have even envisioned driving hours to dance on a grave of someone who has hurt you.

But a funeral message for the believer can be surprisingly uplifting. And someday, from heaven’s perspective, we may see the wisdom of Solomon after all. And truly be …

… surprised.