Dessert enjoys a simple definition: It is sweet, and one has dessert at the end of a meal. Therefore, I define Life’s Dessert as something sweet that comes to your life near the end of your life. I was not the first to decide that grandchildren are life’s little dessert. Long ago, as my wife and I enjoyed raising our little boy (first of two children), we were members of a Baptist Church in rural Carroll County in Maryland.
After a Sunday morning service, as we moved through a hallway to attend small group meetings, I overheard older ladies talking happily about their grandchildren, showing pictures, telling one another about their grandchild’s latest accomplishments, and it was something that I had glimpsed on many Sunday mornings. But, that day was different. An older gentleman stood about twenty feet from the ladies. Probably, his wife was one of them.
He was thin, kept himself upright by grasping the archway of a door with one hand and he held a cane in his other hand. We said good morning to each other, then he looked at me. His face was serene, the kind of look like he was just glad to be there, as he said to me, “Life’s Little Dessert.” He did not explain it, but I knew what he meant. He too enjoyed spending time with his grand-baby.
This morning, I awoke early, having slept poorly. I retired nearly six years ago, and I will turn sixty-six in about a month. I remembered the old man, and I said a prayer for him and his family. The information that he shared with me long ago was a gift, and his words were wise. My wife and I have a grandchild now. We care for her in our home about four days a week while our daughter (our second child) and her husband struggle to work four jobs between them.
What began as our offer to them to protect their baby from the Covid-19 virus (which raged across the world at her birth in March 2020), truly became Life’s Dessert for me and my wife. Our granddaughter bonded with me very early, soon after she opened her eyes. She is eighteen-months-old now, and from our shared beginning to today, she follows me with her eyes all of the time, even when her parents hold her. Her name for me is “Bear.” I did not want to be called Grandpa, Pop-Pop, or any of the usual names. My wife and I have had pet names for each other since we dated (Big Bear and Little Bear), and I decided that I am “Old Bear” now. Jordan will not say “Old.” She picked my name.
If she has accomplished something, I hear, “Bear.” When she wants to play, she wants Bear to play too. If she bumps her head, no one can console her like Bear can. Even when my daughter picks her up and holds her, I see tiny arms outstretched and I hear her plead for her hero, Bear. Web search Jeremiah 1: 4-5. Jeremiah was a prophet who was called by God, and he is highly regarded in the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic faiths. He wrote the Biblical Book of Jeremiah at some time during his life, 650-570 BC (Before the Birth of Jesus, the Christ).
I wonder if God, makes contact with every child before he or she is formed. Web search “Biblical quotes about the little children,” to find clear guidance to all of us about how God feels about them. Jesus’ disciples Matthew, Mark, and Luke all wrote about this. Within the innocent eyes of my granddaughter, Jordan, I sometimes see happy God staring back at me, Life’s Dessert.
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