Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Gather Ye Rosebuds

Today my mother sent me a picture of her father when he was a young man.  She informed me that he did exercises like clockwork from 6:00 until 6:30 every morning for more than 37 years.

Of course, my grandfather did much more than just exercise and wrestle.  I have read his journals, and I know that he lived a solid life of Christian discipleship and service.  He was devoted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to his family.  I have read several passages of his journals in which he shared his love for God and for others, and his conviction concerning the life and mission of the Savior.  He shared the hope for eternal life that can only come through the merits and mercies of Jesus Christ.

As I see my grandfather's face and think of his noble life, I am inspired to improve, and to become a better man. 

Then I am reminded of another image.  This time it is a picture of my father's father, who also lived a noble life and was a blessing to all who knew him (and a blessing to many who did not know him).  I have fond memories of my paternal grandfather, whether it was fishing off the Outer Banks of North Carolina, catching crabs in the Puget Sound, shooting arrows with a bow that he made from wood, visiting him in his carpet store, or just listening to him read Dr. Seuss stories.  
Both of my grandfathers have long since passed away, but there is another element of their legacy that I prize even more than any of the good memories that we shared.  You see, though my grandfathers were not perfect, each loved and cherished his wife with all of his heart.  This is certainly a tradition worth living up to, and these are big shoes to fill. (see Jacob 3:7)

Nevertheless, when I remember this legacy of love, the words of the poet come readily to mind:

"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, / Old Time is still a-flying: / And this same flower that smiles to-day / To-morrow will be dying." (Robert Herrick, To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time)