Perhaps I should have retitled this post to something a bit more specific and thus lengthy, something along the lines of: The legacy of grandparents and why it is important to get their stories to see how God has been faithful throughout generations, and especially important to do this before they pass away. But, that might be a little wordy.
Many of you know that my grandmother, Ruth DeyArmin,passed away last Wednesday, May 19. She was 90 years old. I’ve been exceptionally close with my grandmother for as long as I can remember. Though selfishly I would have liked to have kept her around a bit longer (and for her to meet her newest great grandchild) I am ecstatic for her. She trusted Christ as Savior when she was 12, so she had 78 years of faithfully walking with the Lord and I’m sure that she is fully enjoying the rewards afforded to her by the Lord.
Earlier this month, I had the privilege of returning to Florida with my oldest little man, Eli. The purpose of our trip was to spend time with the grandparents on both sides of my family and to collect their history, their stories, their life lessons, their words of wisdom for future generations. We want our children, and their children, and their children, to know who their ancestors are and to add to the legacy being left for them. So, with questions and video camera in hand, we journeyed. The day we left, we learned my grandmother was in the hospital. She was there the whole time we were there, but was still able to answer questions and pass along her experience and insight. It was beyond valuable and profitable. That became even more valuable when she passed away just one week after we came back home. This Saturday morning, I will be preaching her memorial service – your prayers would be wildly appreciated!
So, what am I driving at? Parents/students, if your parents/grandparents are still alive, start now and collect these stories! Don’t wait! The older generations have experiences and insights that are laden with wisdom that must be preserved. Don’t allow your parents/grandparents to be just fuzzy memories in your family’s collective minds – instead, let them live on in your memory or family history. I will soon begin writing out my grandmother’s answers to the questions we asked and will pass them along to my immediate and extended family.
Scripture is teeming with commands to get wisdom and to honor those older than us. Here are just two passages that speak to this idea:
Remember the days of old;consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you,your elders, and they will tell you.
O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us, what deeds you performed in their days,in the days of old:
I could go on, but I won’t. Some of you have heard about the trip Eli and I took to get this info and were curious about what kinds of questions we asked. I’ve attached the questions we used for my grandmother (for clarity’s sake, the “Carl I” asked about is my grandfather, Carl the 1st- I am the 3rd). I hope these serve you well in securing your family’s legacy.