Do you remember this Super Bowl Commercial? I don't think I will ever forget it. I remember where I was when it came on my tv screen. Paul Harvey's voice and the images captivated me. This is how my mom's family grew up. These are my grandparents and uncle, and now a cousin is a farmer as well.
My grandparents seem to love what they do, the way they live. I don't think they would want to do anything else. They take pride and satisfaction in what they have been able to create over the years. They are proud of their farm and their family. I was able to help with chores or ride along on the tractor when I was a young child, they never complained about all the work they were doing. And they never treated me like I was getting in the way. I was simply brought along on their daily chores. Discipleship. Just another day. I was always fascinated about this, I would think about how cool it was that they could make their schedule, they didn't have to report to a desk or a boss unless you count my grandma, which seems fair.
Have we talked about how they spoiled me rotten? I mean, I am not complaining, I fully enjoyed every moment of it. They got me not one, but two horses. Christmases were magical, as was Easter. Pretty much every family gathering was charged with all kinds of fun, excitement, and energy. There was always enough food to feed at approximately double the people in attendance. I thought this was normal and still am not great doing portion math, I just want to go big and come by it honestly. They were and continue to be generous in just about every way possible. They will and have given so much to anyone who needs something. Also, both my grandma and grandpa are generous in spirit. I imagine this might come with age, but they are more than willing to give whoever they are engaging with their complete attention. They are not distracted or rushing a conversation. They are genuinely listening and interested, if it matters to me it matters to them.
Another thing I come by honestly is my strength. They are both very strong in different ways. They have been married for over 60 years, they are devoted and dedicated to each other. That takes strength. They have been more than able to provide for themselves and the growing family over the years. My grandma, Monica (Mickey/ Mick as she is more commonly referred to by those who know her well) is like me and tends to run a little hot. You don't often have to guess what she is thinking, she will let you know. Much like me. What she lacks in a poker face she makes up in hospitality and deep love for her family and friends. She is the middle daughter of eight siblings. She came into the world surrounded by family and has created a powerful sisterhood among her sisters and within our immediate family. She's our strong and capable matriarch. My grandpa (Terry or Toad...A childhood nickname he could never quite shake) has the sweetest smile that lights up his whole face and his eyes glow. He is a kind man who is generous beyond reason and measure. He and my sister have the same freckles on their cheeks, I love them and they feel like home to me. He is always up for just about anything. He began teaching me to drive by letting me drive his farm trucks the one-mile stretch of road between my aunt and uncle's home and my grandparent's home. He was with me when I fell off the horse I was riding and broke my arm. He and my grandma are in many of most happy and formative childhood memories.
I am so thankful for a wonderful set of grandparents who have loved us, the whole family, so well. The further away from my childhood, I get the easier it is to see the deep impact they had in molding me. Those formative years and memories that have shaped, formed me in powerful ways. I think I have been missing them more than normal lately and have been reflecting how well they loved me and what a magical season that was.