Celebrating Love Connections Across Generations

One of my previous blogs consisted of reflections on entering my eighties. The dominating theme was that time is running out for me. Capacities and experiences are diminishing rather than expanding. More family members and close friends are dying than are being born. I am more focused on endings than beginnings.

Then on March 20, my granddaughter, Katelyn Nash Aiken, gave birth to Vera Faye! Suddenly, life expanded rather than contracted. Coincidently, she was born on the first day of Spring as the earth was bursting with new life and beauty.

One look into Vera Faye’s beautiful, innocent eyes, and my heart leapt with joy. Here was pure, spontaneous love connecting across generations. It was a holy moment!

Her sparkling eyes and spirited smile brought instant joy. I felt the sanctity of pure love and the hope of new beginnings.

Such is the rhythm of creation. Such is the cycle of life. Birth and old age are part of the same tapestry of life. Being born and dying are built into the structure of everything, human and nonhuman.

There is continuity between beginnings and endings, birth and death. In one sense, nothing ever totally dies. All life is interrelated and in a constant process of changing. Biologically, we are all a collection of recycled atoms!

But we are more than clusters of cells and atoms. We are interconnected stories and part of a God’s Story of creation, liberation, restoration, incarnation, and transformation.

At the heart of life’s story is love, which is the power that creates us, connects us with one another and the creation, and ever seeks to unite us and enable us to flourish as God’s beloved children.

Sixty years ago tomorrow, June 30, Linda and I entered the covenant of marriage. I’m sorry that she did not live to know her great granddaughter. I can only imagine her ecstatic joy given the chance to hold this new member of our family. I will still celebrate our life together which now lives on in Vera Faye.

Vera not only carries Linda’s genes; she bears her middle name, Faye!

With Vera Faye’s instinctive grasp of my finger, I feel connected to one whose hand I can hold no longer but whose love continues to give life and hope.

In Praise of My Meek and Mighty Mom

Mother’s Day is filled with sentimentality; yet mothers well deserve recognition and gratitude for their indispensable contributions to our lives.

Booker T. Washington captures my sentiment: “If I have done anything in life worth attention, I feel sure that I inherited the disposition from my mother.”

When I think of my mother, Edith Walker Carder, I am confronted with the paradoxes of her remarkable influence on me and those who knew her.

  • She had a sixth-grade formal education but excelled in wisdom,
  • She was small of stature but big of heart,
  • She never held an office in church but faithfully served God.
  • She never taught a Sunday school class but knew the Bible thoroughly,
  • I never heard her pray aloud, but she prayed without ceasing,
  • She had strong moral values but never condemned others,
  • She lived with constant physical pain but never complained,
  • She knew poverty firsthand but was generous toward others,
  • She grew up in a racially segregated world but welcomed ALL people,
  • She never occupied a leadership position but influenced for good all who knew her,
  • She never accumulated wealth but was rich in the “fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peach, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

Mom died in 2013 at the age of 95 but lives on in God’s eternal presence and in the lives of those who were fortunate enough to know her.