There was a time when I would scoff at the bumper stickers which declared, "Let Me Tell You About My Grandchildren". "Those people need to get a life", I would say with a laugh. Well, that all changed for me eight years ago today on January 25, 2000. That was the day our first grandson discovered America. (he's the little guy in the old photo at left)
Linda and I have since been blessed with three more terrific grandsons. To say that our grandchildren are the light of our lives would be pretty accurate. We like this grandparent gig and it didn't take long to get into it at all.
Today is Quint's 8th birthday. Because he lives so far away we won't be able to be with him on his special day, but it does bring back many memories for us. In the wee hours of the morning after his birth, I sat down and wrote a letter to him. I knew it would be years before he could ever read it, but my heart was so full, I had to write my thoughts. "The Herald-Dispatch" printed the letter as a guest column and, from the many responses, it seemed to have touched a lot of hearts. Since today makes eight years since it's writing, I thought I would share it with you - "For What It's Worth".
A Letter To My Newborn Grandson
(Caudle Jerry Adkins V was born January 25, 2000)
Happy birthday little fellow! You were born last night at 10:59PM. Your beautiful mother worked long and hard to bring you into this world and your daddy was right there with her the whole way. I cried when I saw how much they loved each other and how much they loved you (even though they didn't yet know who you were). You see, sadly, the laws of our country would have allowed you to have been destroyed before you were even born, but your Mom & Dad would never have considered that. She carried you inside her body for nine long months until you would be able to live on your own. She labored for 25 hours and gave up her own physical well being and comfort to give you life. Always love and respect them for that – but more so, do it because God's Word instructs you to do just that.
I never thought I could ever love any little boy as much as I did your daddy and his brother, Benji – but last night I found out that indeed I could. Your Mamaw and I fell in love with you at first sight. Not only were you beautiful to behold, but you also carried in your little person the combined heritage of all your Mommy and Daddy's combined families. Your represent our very best hopes and dreams.
You are an eternal creature, for in your little body dwells a never dying soul. One day – sometime down the road, God will begin to deal with your heart about loving and serving Him. I am praying today that when that day comes, you will meet God on His terms and ask His son, Jesus, to come into your heart. Your Mommy and Daddy will be talking to you plenty about Jesus. So will Mamaw and I – and your Great Grandparents will too! You listen closely and believe, and when the time comes, it will be very easy for you to trust God and allow Jesus to be your Savior and Lord.
Sleep well and gain lots of strength. You'll need it for what lies ahead of you. Who knows what the future holds for you? Tonight my imagination runs wild about you. What will you be like as you grow? What will you look like? How will your little voice sound when you say your first words, and what will those words be? With what types of talents and abilities has God blessed you? What great things might you accomplish for Him. Who will you marry? Will I be around to see you grow into adulthood and have a family of your own? I certainly pray that I do. You are so special. Among all the 6 billion people on earth there is no one else just like you. Not only does your whole family love you, but God loves you and Jesus died for you, and that makes you special.
This is an exciting time to be alive. My Papaw (the first Caudle) was born in the 19th century, in 1895 and he fought in World War I. He died in 1959. My Daddy (your great grandfather) was born in 1927 – the year Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs and Lindbergh flew solo across the Atlantic. He lived through the Great Depression, served in World War II, and as a member of the greatest generation, helped set the standard for all of us who followed. I was born in 1950 at the mid point of the 20th century, and have seen a lot of changes in this world and it's lifestyles. Your Daddy arrived in 1973 and now, 25 days into the new 21st century, here you are! At the dawn of this new millennium, your life begins.
Listen to your parents. Watch their lives. Learn from them and trust their Savior as your own. Live for Him and walk with Him. Follow Proverbs 3: 5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." If you'll do that, you'll never, ever go wrong! Your Mamaw and I love you, little fellow – more than you can comprehend right now. I pray for God's richest blessings on you all the days of your life.
With All My Love,
As a footnote: Quint did give his life to Jesus and was baptized by his father in New Orleans last Easter Sunday. Two of our four grandsons have already come to Christ, and I thank God that their parents are bringing them up in an environment where they can learn about God's Word, and be open to His Grace. We're praying that the two youngest will follow in that journey of faith when the time comes and the Holy Spirit begins to deal with their hearts.
By the way - does anyone know were I can get one of those bumper stickers?