I have only known one grandfather. On my dad's side, my grandpa died before I was old enough to get to know him, so we were left with only Grandpa Jake. I have so many memories of being at his house. It was always COLD, there were always snacks, and even though we weren't allowed to be in the living room, unless you were "lucky" enough to be chosen to sleep in there, the den was a welcoming place where we got to snuggle up and watch old movies, especially John Wayne westerns! He always seems larger than life, like nothing would ever change, but time and age affects us all. Last year, we lost our sweet Grandma Betty, and at the funeral, I saw for the first time, how really frail my Grandpa Jake had gotten.
I know that the time is coming when all of my grandparents will pass, but it's a hard truth to keep in mind during the day to day, ins and outs of life. But life is precious and short. I want to make more of an effort to spend time with him and make sure that my sons at least get to meet Grandpa. Already, Ryan and Brandon have some memories of being with their Great-Grandpa. God willing, all my boys will get to know him and spend some time with him.
Last year was hard for our family with Grandma Betty's passing, and then the unexpected and tragic death of my 19-year old cousin, Ethan Hendricks. So much loss, not just in our family, but all around us it seemed.
Ethan. I still have a hard time believing that he's really gone and that we're not going to see him again. But in his short life, he had such an impact on those around him. His infectious smile and laughter was what most people remember about him. That, and his huge appetite and epic love for ranch dressing!! LOL It's a family legend!
I've thought about Ethan so much in the past months. I've teared up too many times to count and outright cried most of those times. I know something about losing a child, but to lose one after making so many memories and having him be a part of every facet of your life! Oh, a parent should never out live a child!! But I still believe the Lord's grace and love is sufficient, even in the midst of such anguish.
I think this is all a bit scattered, but there really is a reason I'm sharing it all.
As Steven and I have talked through names for this newest baby boy of ours, we have really struggled to come up something we both liked and thought would "work." We never had the problem with our other boys. The name just came to us and seemed perfect. After many list, crossing off, adding and crossing off more names, one false decision, we finally have it.
ETHAN JAKE WALKER
I hope that our boy can be as strong a man as my grandpa, with the same sense of hard work and family. I hope that he will love the Lord like his cousin Ethan and be blessed with the same sweet, loving, giving nature that endeared Ethan to so many.
So, my sweet little Jake, as we will call him for now, you have a lot to live up to in your namesakes! I pray even now, that the Lord will take you and make you into a strong, Godly man who will be a witness to His love, mercy and grace!!