Sunday, December 04, 2011

The Never Ending Story

A rather momentous day occurred in the Kohl family genealogy books on December 3rd, as a new generation made its debut.  Grandma Kohl passed away before the majority of her great-grandchildren were born. Grandpa Kohl died years before his first grandchild was even married. Yet, as happens continually throughout history, their family and legacy continue. One of their great-granddaughters just gave birth to the first great-great-grandchild.

It's a bit mind-boggling to think about, this thing called "generations." None of us will ever live to see the long-term, generational effects of our descendants...and yet those effects will continue, perhaps for centuries. Will one of your descendants be a future president? Could one of them help cure a deadly disease? Perhaps one will create some wonderful, new invention. Deeper and more profound than that, however, is the impact they could have on the world around them. The longer I live, the more amazed I am at the tremendous influence the humblest people can have...and that influence isn't limited to their immediate descendants. It can overflow and touch numerous families and an entire community.

None of us can know whether or not this newly birthed generation will produce a famous inventor or world-renowned scientist. However, I am certain of this. Grandma and Grandpa Kohl would be in awe of the family tree that continues to flourish after them. Not because any of their progeny are rich or famous, but because so many of them continue to value the things they valued...commitment, integrity, strong work-ethics, serving others and valuing family.

I probably have a warped view of heaven. But I like to picture some angelic being approaching Grandma Kohl (who's probably sitting in some heavenly rocking chair, crocheting), and announcing, "Behold, for unto you is born..."
And then she laughs. That wonderful, jolly, contagious laugh that was uniquely hers.

Whether or not that's the case...the next generation is certainly worth relishing in and rejoicing over. These new little ones make all of our efforts and struggles through life so very worthwhile.
So, congratulations Matt and Haley - little Caden is carrying on quite a legacy.