I have arrived at Sam and Sara Jane’s home in New Braunfels late in the afternoon. It is about twenty degrees warmer here in Texas than it was in Kansas City when I left the airport. On the flight, I noticed the browns and grays eventually gave way to hints of green in the shapes of fields. As we pulled up in front of the house, I noticed the Bradford Pears were in full bloom.
I play catch in the back yard with Gammon, who just turned seven. Harrison, two years younger, climbs up into the playhouse. Levi, who will be three this year, does whatever seems most likely to interfere with whatever his older brothers are trying to do at the moment. Later, after frozen yogurt treats, I hold Harrison on my hip and push Levi in the swing. In other words, I am mostly being a grandpa and doing grandpa things. The things you’d do a hundred times a year if it wasn’t a thousand miles to the backyard.
In this world of choices and changes seldom neatly arranged, we manage our lives as best we can and try to make things better with each change. Sometimes we see the better right away and sometimes we suspect that better was what we left instead of where we went. Part of the complicated beauty of life is in learning to weave all the choices into the tapestry of who we are, what we do and what we leave for those who continue after we are gone.
They will choose what to do with all of it. A few hugs, a simple story, and a little while playing catch in the back yard might turn into some of the brighter threads. We each choose what to keep and what to let go but it will help if we deliberately try to put some good into the simple of each day.