When a star is young, it burns hot and bright, giving off a reddish hue. As it ages, gasses are burned off, and the star cools, turning bluefish in color. Despite being less active and bright, the blue stars are still burning. Still functioning. Still hot.
Blue stars still support solar systems. They still radiate light. They have a beauty that is unique in color and luminescence. And, considering the years it takes for their light to reach earth and beyond, stars continue to “shine” long after they have burnt out.
I think of all my friends and loved ones who have lost grandparents this year nearly passed. And I think of my grandmother, who I got to visit while in Indiana. We were blessed to celebrate her 90th birthday. As the effects of Alzheimer’s takes its toll on her short term memory, it’s the reminders of her past that she still clings to that amaze me. Over he course of a couple if visits, she must have told me half a dozen times about the red velvet outfit she bought for me when I was born.
Our grandparents hold a special place within each of us. They are sources of wisdom and guidance. They love us grandkids in a way no one else can, and let us get away with far more than Mom or Dad ever did.
They are, for many of us, the gateway to our genealogical pasts, filling in the blanks about family we never knew, sharing stories and info that help fill the picture of who we are, where we came from, and why our families are the way they are. And they influence heavily who we grow to be – DNA and teaching, nature and nurture. They play a vital role in who God formed each of us to be.
I write this simply from my heart, a heart filled with memories and heavy thoughts as I travel back from a week at home with family. I am reminded once more of the part each of my grandparents played in my upbringing. I can still see their smiles, and hear their voices. And, whether long departed or slipping under the blanket of Alzheimer’s, they are still in my heart. Here I thank God for them, rejoice in their memories and mourn the loss of their physical presence.
All the same, they are all with me, burning bright blue and beautiful, each in their own way. And I thank God for that gift.