Today I would like to tell you a true story that, if you will ponder it a bit, will definitely tug at your heartstrings. It will soon become obvious why I don't use names.
Sometime back I told you about our granddaughter who just finished the fourth grade and is reading at the high school grade level. Well, she had a birthday this past August and is now 11 years of age. To celebrate, her mom and dad gave her a birthday party. She wanted to cook and invited Janis and me to be their guests. We accepted, and when we arrived at their home, we were greeted by two little girls that we did not know. We soon learned they were new next-door neighbors who had just moved in.
The meal was great, including some cat-head biscuits, and the only thing our granddaughter did not cook was the meat, which her dad prepared on the outside grill. We noticed that there were two extra place settings for the neighbor girls, one about 6 and the other about 9. Over the course of the next hour or so, Janis and I learned the rest of the story. The girls' mother and father had divorced, and the mother had a live-in boyfriend. Our grandson told us the girls spent a good deal of time at their house. He also said that he had seen the girls, unsupervised, a few blocks from home near a busy highway.
The younger girl had seen Janis give our granddaughter a birthday card with some money in it, and a few minutes later she came up to her and said, "Will you be my grandma?" Janis said she thought this little girl was serious. It was obvious these girls were starved for attention, a part of the reason for this column. The truth is, unless God intervenes, these precious little girls do not have a very bright future, and they deserve so much better. And yes, Janis got her birthdate, and if I know her, this young lady will get a card and a little money on her birthday from her new grandma.
The scenario I have just described is one of the reasons America is in serious trouble. The "home" has always been the major building block for a stable and healthy society, and when millions of homes are unstable, the consequences can turn tragic. The great thing about us human beings is that we have the ability to improve and to change for the better.
Janis tells me that when her grandson was younger, he went through some really rough times, but he has really grown up and matured since I have been in the family. He has a very important job with the city, and he takes his family to church and is the leader of their home. When they have meals, he says grace, and this sets the tone. To this I can only say "Praise the Lord" and thanks for being a good role model for all of us.
One of the things that blesses me so much is that Janis is a real "giver," and her grandchildren are the joy of her life. Her son Roy is the pastor of a large church in Ohio, and he and his wife have four daughters: three are married and the two older girls have a total of seven children. Janis always sends each one a card and some money on their birthday, and she reminds me to do the same. Believe it or not, I am getting better. While she may not know it, this little girl is lucky to have the best new grandma in America. If you are an older man or woman, could you be a new grandparent, too?