Isn’t that usually what we have living on the earth at a given time, basically? It’s kind of out there at the limits…not may great-grandparents are alive at any given time, but about the time the great-grandparents are dying their great-grandchildren are being born. For all practical applications it’s three-plus generations — grandparents, parents and children.

Have you ever thought about what a marvelous design that is?

I just attended the funeral yesterday for the father of my boss. My boss is 2-3 years younger than I am. He’s not a grandfather yet, but his only son is old enough now to be a dad himself; he’ll graduate from college this spring. My boss just lost his dad; his mom passed away about four years ago.

My parents are great grandparents. They are in their mid-80s; I am in my late 50s; my son is in his mid-30s and he has two children in grade school.

And what richness there is in that design! My parents were children of the Great Depression, and my dad was a participant in World War II. They were eyewitnesses and can relate their experiences to my grandchildren. I grew up in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. I can remember what it was like in the first 10-15 years after WWII, the Eisenhower years, the “Cold War”, the Kennedy Assassination, the Vietnam War, and so on. I can remember what it was like back in the Methodist Church before we merged with the EUB Church to form the UMC.

I am amazed that the “Reagan Years” are considered ancient history by so many young folks these days, much the way I thought of the FDR years and WWII when I was a kid. Even now it amazes me to realize that my childhood came just a very few years later.

Stop and try to imagine what it would be like if we didn’t have these different generations on the earth at the same time. Can you imagine what it would be like if we didn’t have their experiences to fall back on? Think what it would be like to not have known some of our parents/grandparents. I think of my boss’s dad, who was buried yesterday. I count it a real privilege to have gotten to know him over the years I have worked for this company. What a sense of humor! What a twinkle in his eye! And my boss’s mom — what a little sweetheart she was!

I think of my own grandparents, my maternal grandfather who passed away back in the 1950s when I was a little boy. I’ll always remember how much he loved me. I wasn’t old enough to remember much more, but I’ll always remember that. Mom told me long ago that when Grandpa was laying in the hospital dying, he said to my mom, “Dont cry for me, daughter. I know exactly where I’m going.” His faith is carried on in most of the rest of the family.

Grandma lived on with us for another 35 years before she was called home. I’ll always remember her laugh, the joy of life I saw in her eyes. I’ll always remember her Norwegian accent and the way we learned our heritage from her, and Mom as well.

My dad’s dad lived to be 91, of German-Swiss stock, and Grandma Z was left on the earth until she reached 103 years, and was afraid the Lord had forgotten her. But it was to give us all a chance to show her how we loved her, and then her Lord and Savior called her home.

I am very blessed to have known them all, and I believe my children and grandchildren are blessed to have gotten to know their grandparents. It really is a grand design!