I’m kind of a lousy father-in-law/grandparent in some respects; I’m horrible at remembering birthdays and anniversaries and sort of a sporadic communicator. I get myself busy with what I think I need to do and sometimes slack off on things that I should do. But, I do try to be the kind of grandfather that grandkids enjoy being around and may catch themselves actually having fun with at times. I’m hoping that helps compensate for some of the lacks. But the bright side, if there is one, is that when one of the daughters-in-law gets a call from me, she knows it’s a call from me to her, not just the coincidence of having answered the phone when I’m looking for my son.
Mike’s wife, Sarah, got one of those calls on September 11, 2001, when they were living in the Washington, D.C., area. I think she rather appreciated it. Sam’s wife, Sara Jane, alone now with their three sons while Sam is in Kuwait, got one this morning. She and the boys are living in Newport News, Virginia.
I checked to make sure they were okay. Even though they’re not directly in the path of Hurricane Sandy’s center, they have been getting deluged with enough rain that the James River had nearly swamped the bridge on Sunday. With even more rain and flash flooding coming, I wanted to hear her voice and know that they were still safe and sound.
She assured me that they were and are and we talked for a few minutes. The kids began doing what little kids do whenever a parent takes a phone call and then, just as we were beginning to say our goodbyes, she got a call on her cell phone. It was Sam. Another father needing to hear the voices of his loved ones and to know that they are okay.
Sometimes in making the calls to hear the voices that we need to hear, we also give loved ones what they need to hear. It’s easier to feel that you’re in someone’s heart and thoughts when it is their voice speaking that reassurance. I think that’s at least part of the reason why God has sent his Comforter to be with us in this world of storms and darkness. To speak his calming love in the midst of the surge and the blast. To remind us that we are not alone.