I knew I'd have to figure it out one day…what I'd be called by my grandchildren.
As it is with anything and everything that lives in the mist of “one day,” when the day comes it seems to catch us by surprise.
My household had one helluva Holy Week.
Going into it I was filled with the usual sense of finality that comes with any of us who itinerate and know that “last things” are on the horizon. I knew this was my last Holy Week at Covenant. So there's the appropriate amount of grief in leaving folks I've loved and served. But there's also the season of the “valedictory” address—the last things that one wants to be sure to impart knowing that our life together is changing. How one takes leave from community is as significant (and possibly more so) than how one comes to be a part of it in the first place.
So since news of my appointment back to St. John’s has come to light, my last words have been germinating…preoccupying me, really…not so much as to distract from the sanctity that Holy Week merits, but I felt a gravity to it, that, when coupled with the painful anniversary this week brings my family, the whole week felt “heavy” already.
I guess the first clue that this week was going to be a bit different was when I got home from church Monday night. It was about 8:30 p.m. Nightly routine. Changed. Got comfy, came into the den to find my oldest and girlfriend of almost 5 years in the den.
“Kinda late for them to drop by,” I thought.
That plus the deer in headlights look communicated much before mouths began to speak.
They shared news of a “surprise,” that really wasn't, neither to them or us. Maybe there was surprise in the “oh, shit….this really happened” sorta way. I get that. Shoot, I've said that.
I was taken with how both of them were, while shaken at reality getting, well, “real,” that there was a peace brought by the conviction that this moment was in front of them and that they’re going to meet it together.
Plans to be married have been in the conversation for some time. This new reality prompted the need to actualize those, too.
Lest anyone wonder how I did…I was calm. They’re adults. My job is to counsel and advise, not direct. The only mandate I gave was that neither was quitting school. Figure out how to manage it, and keep going.
And, Laura said how awful the prenatal vitamins were, and I said, “Doesn’t matter, take them anyway.” That’s my grandchild we’re talking about, right?
That was Monday.
By Easter Sunday, with house full of family in town to celebrate Jack’s confirmation, came the actual engagement. When’s the wedding? The Friday before my first Sunday at St. John’s.
Of course it is.
And, Christopher bought the truck of his dreams….because we loaned him the money to do it and he’s paying us back though his new start up business with his pal Austin cutting yards. Holler if you need lawn service….please, I'm begging you. Seriously. :)
Sounds brilliant. I think I've lost my ever loving mind.
But what of the matter at hand? What to be called? Truth is, I'll be whatever the child decides to call me. My father is Grandaddy, as was my grandfather. I have no aversion to that in the slightest, but it's a well used name in our family now.
My father in-law is Papa, and that suits him quite well.
My son, who's soon to be a father himself, calls me Daddy, still, and I suspect always.
So, GDaddy makes a lot of sense to me. I've heard it used before by people I love, and it always seemed to ring true to me.
So I think that's where I'm headed with this.
Funny thing about life’s transitions, however they come, whether of your choosing or not. In each instance there's a new name, label or designation associated with it. Sometimes those names are embraced. Sometimes they are placed on you. Sometimes we live our lives trying to outrun or undo those names because of pain associated with them.
For me, there's a host of names I carry. And there are many more I'm called that I don’t know, and that's probably for the best. It just so happened that two such names I knew I would have “one day” came much more sharply into focus in the compressed time of a few days.
I'm very OK with this. But more than any name I bear, I pray I live in a way that does honor to it. Hmm, sounds biblical, doesn't it? Lil bit?