A Grandparent’s Legacy

2 Timothy 1:5  “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”

When I was about 7 years old, my family moved back to New Zealand to live with my grandparents (my Mum’s parents) on their farm. It was a blissful time! Luckily enough, my other grandparents, my Dad’s Dutch parents, also lived on the farm right across the road! We had a wonderful three years getting to know all of our wonderful grandparents better, and I came to love them all very much. I have so many fond memories of their patience, their games, their jokes, their listening ear, their stories, their poetry, their cooking, their fun.

When I came back from the U.S. to University in New Zealand much later in life, I reconnected with my grandparents. I spent many hours with my Oma, my Dad’s Mum, talking about Jesus and scripture, and about life and family, and she would always pray for me any time we got together. She helped me through a very difficult time of depression with her spiritual wisdom. Even when I left New Zealand and was living in China, she would call me faithfully at least once or twice a month to see how I was doing and to pray with me over the phone. When my Mum passed away, my Oma became like a mother to me. Even now, she is always excited to hear about what God is doing in my life and the different people I’m meeting, and we find so much joy in sharing with each other and encouraging each other in the faith. She just turned 90 and is still a prayer warrior in God’s Kingdom! What a legacy she has left me.

I love the legacy that can be passed on from grandparents! When I read the passage about Timothy’s grandmother passing on this wonderful faith down the generations, I think of my Oma. Perhaps it isn’t always something spiritual either! My love of art came from my Nana, and I think my strong personality and my love of adventure came from my Opa! My musical genes seem to have been passed down from my Grandad, my Mum’s Dad. He and I used to do duets together on the harmonica! I would learn some of the old songs from his generation, and we would have a great old time singing and doing musical items together! Even the last night that I spent with him before he passed was spent singing together and enjoying music.

One thing I’ve loved about being a parent is seeing the connection between our parents and our own children. I’m so glad God designed families this way! My Mum left an amazing legacy to our children as their grandmother. Every time I had a baby in China, Mum came over from the U.S. and stayed to help and spend time with them. She gave them so much love, patience, time, and fun energy! Our daughter still tears up about missing her since her passing last year. And now that my Dad is here in New Zealand with us, he is able to leave his own wonderful legacy of fun in their lives. Our kids always get so excited when they get to spend time with him! The other night, we showed our kids the video of my husband David and I singing and playing music for David’s father in the hospital in China before he died. He died before we were married (David’s mother had died when David was three), and so our children never got to meet him. And yet, after watching that video, our 4-year-old daughter came to me with tears in her eyes and said, “I miss YeYe (David’s Dad)!” It seemed as if somehow she knew that David’s Dad was still very intimately connected to her. She missed someone she had never known! But he had left a legacy for her… I’ll write about that in another post!