We are blessed to be able to see a picture of faithful love and the effect it has on the generations that follow.
Hope writes ...
I want to share with you a story that wasn't told publicly during last weekend's wedding festivities. Mark has reflected since that he should have told it in one form or another, but the pace of the plans and events dictated too many of our responses and too often!
Some of you know that my Grandfather (Hoyt Aaron; my mother's father and affectionately called "Paw-Paw") was a Paratrooper for World War II. He had a young wife, and an infant child (my mother) when he signed up at Ft Bragg, and later trained at Benning, and eventually in England. If you're familiar with "Band of Brothers", then you have insight into my Paw Paw's life during his early 20's.
Hoyt and Peggy
My grandfather was quiet, reserved, serene, and very content. I never ever heard him say a poor word towards anyone, nor did I ever see him lose his patience or his temper. He was a solid presence in my young life; and a necessary help for my single mother. Paw Paw loved the Lord and His Word; and most always in his later years when he was in his chair with Parkinson's disease, he would be reading his Bible when we kids walked thru the door. He loved his Mustang, and his guitar, and his hobby of camping/ mining for gemstones/ rock collecting. His life was simple, but interesting. He was not known by very many; but all that did know him also loved him.
He was built small but solid. His presence was quiet but commanding. All of us have said that David could just step right into my Grandfather's uniforms.
The week my Grandfather died, was the very week for me that I was "suspecting" that I was pregnant. I had not even told anyone yet; as I recall. The 3 weeks leading up to my Grandfather's death were understandably busy with coming/going, making plans and loving on family; helping my mother and Grandmother with housekeeping, taking care of Bekkah (who was just 2). By the time we were burying him, I was fairly certain that I was pregnant, and was keeping thoughts hidden in my heart about the Goodness of God in rejoicing in the life of one of His Saints, while also replacing a life in a family who had just lost a beloved Patriarch.
My grandparents were married for 50 years. Their marriage was unique; as my Grandmother was especially vivacious and outgoing; a perfect counterpoint for this quiet man. For reasons I do not know, my Grandparents gave each other new sets of wedding rings. My Grandmother wore both her sets, one on each hand. My Grandfather retired his old one, and wore the new; was buried in the new. My Grandmother passed down his old ring to me when he died. I don't know why she did this, but she gave it to me; along with all of his Airborne wings, and other Army paraphernalia.
Along comes David, and we know very quickly that he is his own man; different than my gentle, smiley firstborn. =) The most obvious is David's constant need for his Dad (Mark) over anyone else~ even me, his mom! I loved this about him and still do. In time, and after several years of moving around in the Army, watching his Army Dad come and go with all his buds and protocol, David discovered my Grandfather's wedding ring in my jewelry box. He declared that he never wanted me to give it up, and that he wanted to wear it one day. So, I saved it.
David and Alicia
The ring that Alicia placed on David's finger was that very ring. It did not need re-sizing; it was a perfect fit. That ring is beat up with scratches, a nick or two, signs of 50 years of wear and use. That ring is the very ring that my Grandfather wore when he jumped on D-day in to St. Mere Eglise; and the same ring he was wearing when my mother was born. The same ring he was wearing when I was born; and when I was married. That ring survived years of struggle with Parkinson's disease; but before that it traveled with him into the depths of the earth to mine for raw rubies, emeralds, and even a diamond or two. That ring played the guitar, and pruned rose bushes. But mostly, that ring wore the hand that loved my Grandmother with a a 50 year determination that never lost it's resolve.
David never knew this man; but knew everything about him that could be told. At best, my Grandfather and David passed as spirits thru the unseen dimension of time and space as one was coming and the other, leaving. Even still, David has called Paw-Paw one of his heroes; the memory of him as someone he also wants to be remembered as deriving from. The fact that the ring is marred is nothing but proof that endurance carries its own reward.
I'm thankful that David did not want a new ring; something fresh and trendy, without flaws and scratches. I'm blessed that his new wife was willing and happy to place that one on his finger; as her gift to him. I'm extremely grateful that the Giver of all thankfulness has opened up His story of Love for another generation, to be the example for the next.
Thank you all for your forbearance with me. God is good.