Jan 21, 2017

New Beginnings: Gone but Not Forgotten

I'm feeling a  little nostalgic today, a little emotional.  I've been thinking about a great and wise man who is no longer with us.

No, not this guy.

Although, I admit I am sad to see him go.

No, I've been thinking about this man.

This is my grandfather, William W. Thomson.  Just recently I fell into conversation with one of our officers at the Allegheny West Conference and discovered that he had worked for my grandfather when he was president of the North Caribbean Conference. He shared with me wonderful stories about his time working for my grandpa, and it awakened wonderful memories.  Grandpa was well-known throughout the Caribbean by those of a certain generation and it's not uncommon for me to come across people who knew who he was.  But it's a rare and precious gift to meet people who actually knew him and could share stories of their experiences with him.  And ever since then, Grandpa has been on my mind a lot.  This morning, I actually got a little teary, wishing that I had talked to him more, regretting that I'd somewhat taken him for granted when he was alive and with us (his departure began several years before he died as dementia slowly took him from us).  I wished that I could ask him more questions, hear more stories, spend more time with him.

It's been almost 13 years since he died, and a few years longer since I could have spent time in conversation with him.  But today, the grief felt fresh.

Today is also a day of new beginnings.  Today we welcome someone new into our lives.

No, not this guy.

Not so much rejoicing here, I confess. Resignation, perhaps.

No I was thinking more about my newest nephew, born early yesterday  morning.  I haven't met him yet--it will be a few months yet before I can do that, but I'm excited that he's here, excited to see his life take shape in the years to come.  He, like me, carries a little bit of his great-grandfather.  I hope that little Alex and I will be able to live in such way that someone may someday think of us as great and wise too.

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