During the service, Garold's 17 grand kids got up and sang together as a tribute to their grampa. I am guessing that they ranged in age from 6 to 18 years of age. As soon as I looked at them, I could tell there was something different about this group. They appeared to be very well-mannered, very loving and very pleased to be serving in this capacity during the funeral. Their song was oneof the most beautiful things I had ever heard. It was if they had been practicing their whole lives for this moment.
I thought of how this differs from how I would have treated this situation when I was that age--that is the last thing I would have wanted to do. I also was struck by how different this was when contrasted to our society as a whole (I envisioned kids giggling and acting like this is "dumb").
That's when it hit me. What I was witnessing was what it means to leave a legacy. Garold had truly left a legacy in his family...and beyond. Had he chosen a different path other than following God with all his heart, I wondered how different the lives of these children who were singing would be. But because he chose to follow God and intentionally pass it on, he multiplied himself...he left an incredible legacy.
Garold's brother emailed me before the funeral and talked about what a blessing it was to grow up in such a Christ-centered family. He said there was an awesome inter-generational interaction in which values were passed down to those younger. Then he said this:
Now I find myself in the position of having only 2 living older males in my family...and that just doesn't seem possible. What that seems to mean for me is that more and more "the baton is being handed off to me" to have a greater responsibility for positively affecting the future generations of our family.Very well said. That sums up the overwhelming feeling I had yesterday (and still today) as well. The responsibility we have to our families and beyond is great!