Hope for the next gen­er­a­tion

We can only hope they grow up in a time when they don’t have to fol­low in the foot­steps of their great-grand­fa­ther, the free­dom they’ll en­joy.

The Covington News - - Opinion - Har­ris Black­wood

Her name is Emma Grace Black­wood and she weighs all of nine pounds. She has a head full of dark hair and she looks just like her mama.

Hold­ing her was a throw­back to the days when I had a lit­tle one that size. As much I en­joyed the mo­ments, I had a lit­tle com­fort know­ing that if she got fussy, I could give her back to her mom or dad.

She is, or would have been, my brother Dixon’s sec­ond grand­child. As many of you know, Dixon died in Jan­uary af­ter a nearly two- year bat­tle with a brain tu­mor.

I can re­mem­ber how ex­cited he was 18 years ago when my daugh­ter, Ash­ton, his first niece, was born. When his first grand­child, Sa­muel, was born, he was there and I thought he was a won­der­ful grand­fa­ther.

He was told be­fore he died that Emma Grace was on the way, but he was so sick that his com­pre­hen­sion of things was fuzzy.

Our visit to see the new baby was one of those mo­ments I missed Dixon so ter­ri­bly much. He would have thrived on spoil­ing his grand­chil­dren and dot­ing on their ev­ery whim.

I re­mem­ber how he loved to hold lit­tle Sa­muel, when he was about the size of Emma Grace.

I hope one day to tell them about their “ Papa,” a fun- loving guy with a quirky sense of hu­mor. I want them to know about our lives grow­ing up and about their pa­ter­nal great- grand­par­ents, who they’ll only know through pic­tures.

As I rode home, I thought about the world that they’ll grow up in.

In my daugh­ter’s life­time, the In­ter­net has ar­rived and cell phones, once the toys of the wealthy, now be­long to every­one. The VCR, which we thought was pretty snazzy, has gone the way of the 8- track tape.

Sa­muel and Emma Grace will never know a home without a con­nec­tion to the en­tire world through a com­puter. By the time they’re old enough, there will prob­a­bly be no such thing as a long- dis­tance phone call.

But I hope that there are a few things that are deeply in­grained in them. Things like read­ing a good book. Not some­thing read to you by a recorded elec­tronic voice, but a par­ent or grand­par­ent or a crusty great un­cle paint­ing a pic­ture with words on the printed page.

I hope they learn the words “ yes, sir” and “ yes, ma’am,” “ please” and “ thank you.” I hope they say them all of their lives.

We can only hope they grow up in a time when they don’t have to fol­low in the foot­steps of their great- grand­fa­ther, who was wounded while fight­ing for the free­dom they’ll en­joy.

I don’t worry too much about the foun­da­tions of their faith. Their daddy, David, is cur­rently in sem­i­nary to pre­pare for the min­istry. Their other grand­daddy is a preacher and mis­sion­ary.

That’s a lot of wish­ing for two lit­tle folks, in­clud­ing one who is so tiny and in­no­cent. I know it’s what I want for their lives and be­lieve that it would be what their Papa would have wanted.

And if any of you read­ing this get the call to eter­nity any­time soon, be sure and tell that brother of mine that he’s got two re­ally cute grand­kids down here.

Some­thing tells me he al­ready knows.

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