Any longtime readers of this blog know how very blessed Cindi and I have been in our children. We have stood in amazement and awe as their personalities unfolded; and they have usually kept us in stiches! The weird thing about our family is that we actually do really LIKE spending time together: us with them and they with us. But today I want to reflect on the blessing that their spouses have been to us, too.
Dean...we still remember when Lauren came home from college and told us about this "amazing" person! We knew it was over right then and there. She's been proven right, though: he is amazing. Read the great homily he preached at the wedding (and if only you all could get all the insider stuff he packed in there!). He's a loving husband, and a great dad to their (soon to be) five children. He hunts, he camps, he loves to visit his shutins AND he loves Apple products (need I say more?). Oh, and he has an equally "amazing" dad, who is Pappy to our grandchildren. His mom was one of the most loving and giving people I've ever had the joy to know. Dean's a great combo of both.
Meaghan...I remember when she and David were dating and preparing to walk out the door, and she went through the litany: "David, do you have your keys? Your cellphone? Your wallet?" Cindi and I turned to each other after they closed the door and exclaimed: "She HAS to marry him." Meaghan is David's true soul mate: a perfectionist like him, and a lover of beauty, but also someone to keep his artist's soul grounded. She is good at so many things: being a mommy, a doctor of physical therapy (aka professional torturer) and an astonishing photographer. It makes me happy that they surround my grandchildren with beauty and order. (Wait, how did she get David to be concerned about order?). And then there are Meaghan's parents and grandparents (she has a full set!) whom we treasure so much. Amazing, loving, and joyous people!
Andrew...They met via a mistake, that was absolutely no mistake. Their first date was at Hope Lutheran Church in St. Louis! I didn't think I'd ever meet someone who could dote on nephews and nieces quite so naturally as Bekah, but then Andy came along. Lauren was right: the kids think of him as a giant toy. All his nieces and nephews on both sides adore him. I think that speaks volumes. Like for Dean, I suspect the roucous nature of our family was a bit of an adjustment. I won't even go into what happened the first time he met his future sister-in-law! But he fit in with grace and was soon joining in the laughter and dishing it out as fast as it was served up to him! I hope Dr. and Mrs. Ibisch DO end up with a ton of kids, because these two would be so awesome as parents. Although we've only met Andy's parents and siblings briefly in the last month, we already treasure them and are thankful that he grew up in a God-fearing Lutheran household, and we look forward to getting to know them better in the future.
Which leads into my last point. These wonderful blessings, my three children by grace to compliment my three by nature, are all faithful Christians of the Lutheran persuasion. Church will be an important part of all my grandchildren's lives (the vital gathering where we week by week feast on the joys of the Age to come in Word and Eucharist) and they will grow up knowing the Scriptures and singing hymns, learning their catechism and praying with their families. Thank you, Lord, thank you so much for this greatest blessing of all! Thank you for our "other" children: Dean and Meaghan and Andy.