Dessert enjoys a simple definition: it is sweet, and one has dessert at the end of a meal. Therefore, I define Life’s Dessert as something sweet that comes into your life near the end of your life. I was not the first to decide that grandchildren are life’s little dessert. Long ago, when my wife and I enjoyed raising our young son (the first of two children), we were members of a Baptist Church in rural Carroll County, Maryland.
After a Sunday morning service, as we made our way down an aisle to attend small group meetings, I heard older ladies happily talking about their grandchildren, showing pictures, telling each other about their grandchildren’s latest accomplishments, and it was something I had glimpsed on many a Sunday morning. But, that day was different. An older gentleman was about twenty feet from the ladies. His wife was probably one of them.
He was thin, stood upright by holding on to the arch of a door with one hand and holding a cane in the other hand. We said good morning to each other, then he looked at me. His face was serene, as if he was happy to be there, while he told me: “Life’s little dessert.” He didn’t explain it to me, but I knew what he meant. He also liked spending time with his granddaughter.
This morning I woke up early after a bad sleep. I retired almost six years ago and will be sixty-six in a month. I remembered the old man and said a prayer for him and his family. The information he shared with me long ago was a gift, and his words were wise. My wife and I have a grandson now. We care for her in our home about four days a week while our daughter (our second daughter) and her husband struggle to work four jobs between them.
What started as our offer to protect your baby from the Covid-19 virus (which spread across the world when he was born in March 2020), truly became the Dessert of Life for me and my wife. Our granddaughter joined me very early, shortly after she opened her eyes. She is now eighteen months old, and from our shared beginning until today, she follows me with her eyes all the time, even when her parents hold her. Her name for me is “Bear”. She didn’t want to be called grandpa, pop-pop, or any of the usual names. My wife and I have had affectionate nicknames for each other since we dated (Big Bear and Little Bear), and I decided that I am now “Old Bear.” Jordan won’t say “Old”. She chose my name.
If she’s accomplished something, I hear, “Bear.” When she wants to play, she wants Bear to play too. If she hits her head, no one can comfort her like Bear can. Even as my daughter picks her up and hugs her, I see little arms outstretched and hear her beg for her hero, Bear. Web search Jeremiah 1:4-5. Jeremiah was a prophet who was called by God and is highly respected in the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic religions. He wrote the Biblical Book of Jeremiah sometime in his life, 650-570 BC (Before the Birth of Jesus the Christ).
I wonder if God contacts each child before it is formed. Search the web for “Bible Quotes About Little Children” to find clear guidance for all of us on how God feels about them. The disciples of Jesus Matthew, Mark, and Luke wrote about this. Within the innocent eyes of my granddaughter, Jordan, I sometimes see a happy God staring back at me, the Dessert of Life.