Monday, June 22, 2015


My dad and his dad were nothing alike.  I won't go into details... but they are VERY DIFFERENT MEN.  That being said, some aspects of their lives where very similar.

My grandfather married my grandmother (Nangie), had three children (a son, and then twins, a son and daughter).  The marriage was not good, and when Pearl Harbor was bombed, my grandfather enlisted in the Army as an Army Dentist and served in the South Pacific for the duration of the war.  When the war ended, he did not come home, but instead moved to Europe where he began a new life and met a German woman, 21 years his junior.  After a messy bi-continental divorce from Nangie, he married the German woman (our family came to call Grandmother Klara).  My grandfather promised Grandmother Klara the world -- travel, wealth, security, treasure from around the world with one condition, he did not want any more children.  Grandmother Klara accepted his terms and the two of them were married 45 years before my grandfather died at age 100.

Grandmother Klara lived another 13 years after grandfather died surrounded by remnants and knick-knacks from their life together -- Oriental rugs, Lenox crystal, Ivory sculptures, Hand-painted plates, Jeweled lamps and chandeliers from all over the world.  And, her last years were very lonely.  Since she and my grandfather never invested their time or their love in children or grandchildren, Grandmother Klara had a very isolated final decade of life with her treasures from their travels.

My father was married to a woman and had two children, my sister and brother, before divorcing their mother (an alcoholic) and gaining custody of both his children.  A few years later, he met my mother, 21 years his junior, and he did not promise her the world.  He promised her love, and one child of her own, if she wanted one.  She did want one -- she would not have married my dad if he had not promised her baby of her own.

They agreed on one child, but my mom always said that I had been boy, she would have gone back to the negotiation table for the chance at another one.

My dad was 51 years old when I was born -- he didn't desire to have another 4 children with my mom -- but he was willing to bless her with one, and he invested all his love, time, and energy in their one child, me.

Now, my mom's one child (myself) has had one child, and my baby girl is the joy of my mom's world (not to mention my dad's).  Being 21 years his junior, it is likely that my mother will outlive my father, and, unlike Grandmother's final years of life, my mom's final years (still many decades off) will not be at all lonely, but filled with love, time, and energy with me, my husband, and our children.

My father blessed my mom with one child, and as a result, her final years will be full of laughter, joy, and love, as opposed to my grandfather, who blessed his wife with knick-knacks, and her final years were full of dusting those earthly treasures.  What a stark contrast of two lives stemming from one decision.

My husband and I are not wealthy.  We work hard, and scrimp where we can, and do not have as much security as, somedays, I would prefer we have... but we adore our daughter and have never for a moment second-guessed her prescense in our life.  We also hope to give her siblings in the future, and my husband and I are on the same page about our desire to expand our family, despite our growing bills and dwindling salaries.  We live on faith and love... and not much else.

We know we wish to invest our lives, our time, and our resources in a family, and we fully expect to sacrifice items and experiences in order to invest in our family, and we expect to be blessed throughout our lives for those decisions.

The Bible says that three things are eternal: God, God's Word, and the souls of men...

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21

Where are your treasures?

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