A few weeks ago we scattered my parents’ ashes at a family gathering at their cottage on Cranberry Lake near Seeley’s Bay, Ontario. It was an emotional time as all of us had spent many happy times at the cottage with Oma and Opa (as most of the grandchildren knew them). They had both been vigorous, active, and full of life until close to the end of their earthly journey, and had played a huge role in the lives of their children and grandchildren.
Just a few days before the ceremony, Marion attended a shower for our first grandchild. Our son Simeon and his wife Heather are expecting their first child in February 2009. This is very exciting and of course we are thrilled. My older brother Jan, who is already a grandfather, tells me that it is a wonderful experience.
That’s how life is. One season ends, a new one begins. One generation passes on, a new one comes on the scene. I am entering the last lap of my life – Marion and I are the matriarch and patriarch now in our branch of the Hartgerink line. It seems strange, but that’s the way it is. I always knew my parents would die, yet somehow it was still a shock – they had always been there, solid, dependable, and now they are gone.
The thought that I will die doesn’t discourage me or depress me, because I know that ultimately I am living for eternity. But it’s sobering to realize that I am the one now that my children and grandchildren will look up to, as our generation looked up to my Dad. Will my example be worth following ? Will I be a blessing to them as I have been blessed ? Will my life point them to Jesus ?