This shouldn’t come as a major surprise to anybody, but, my Mom’s parents are my grandparents (I’m so grateful the way God has these kinds of details all worked out). You see, sometimes the simple things in life aren’t appreciated enough by everybody (or, maybe I just get too easily blown away by such simple things… anyway!).
There aren’t many rites of passage in our American society as a whole; we don’t all hold bar mitzvah’s when a boy turns 13, or Quinceneras when a girl turns 15. I guess that’s just a by-product of the melting pot that makes this country so strong. I’ll forever remember each of us Webster kids looking forward to our tenth birthday… the day we would receive our very own Bible from our Mom’s parents with our name engraved on the cover (of course it was the King James Version that we receiveth. I didn’t know at the time that there were any other versions out there. Now I couldn’t guess how many there are).
Such were the footsteps that we were called upon to follow. Of course we didn’t have to travel the same path as our predecessors, and we also didn’t automatically become born-again Christians just because we were born in a line of them. We each had to decide for ourself what road we would travel: the straight and narrow path that leads to Heaven, or the broad road of destruction that leads to Hell (as every person who walks the face of the Earth has to choose).
We didn’t have much interaction with those Godly saints (both of whom are fellowshipping with Jesus face to face now), but their influence was definitely felt through their oldest daughter, and their prayers for each one of us. They were the people who sold the 40 acres just East of the farm to my Dad’s parents (that’s how my parents became childhood sweethearts. You see how interestingly God works those kind of details out? Simply amazing!).
My future parents wrote letters to each other after my Mom’s family moved to California, and my Dad was stationed in Germany while serving with the US Army. My Dad actually proposed to my Mom in one of those letters after she asked him what his plans were after he got out of the Army. I think his response was something like: ‘I think I might settle down with this girl who used to live near me’ (he wasn’t exactly the most romantic sort, but, hey, it worked).
While my Mom’s side of the family moved around a lot (the 6 siblings are settled in 5 states right now), the Webster clan stayed very close to home. There’s a book in the White Cloud Public Library that has the history of the earliest settlers in the region, I can trace my ancestry back at least three generations before my Grandpa Webster in that book (all 6 of my siblings still reside in Michigan. I’m the only one who flew the coupe all the way to the promised land of Texas).
My Dad’s parents were some of our closest neighbors (only a half a mile away). Grandpa Webster was revered by everybody, Grandma Webster knew the best way to do everything, (as long as it was done her way life was good). I always relished Grandpa’s stories… especially the one when he bought his first dump truck during the Great Depression. One of the workers who was loading his truck with a shovel (that was one of the ways FDR put money back into the economy, by paying people to do some jobs that were lost to technology) said that my Grandpa must be rich to be able to afford to buy a new truck at that time. Grandpa was quick to point out that he wasn’t making any more money than the other man did. The only difference was that when the job was done the other man had to return the shovel, but he got to keep the truck.
My Dad would later get his own dump truck. Along with one of my Grandpa’s friends, the three of them hauled some of the material that was to become the first asphalt roads in West Central Michigan. My birth certificate lists my Dad’s occupation as ‘Trucker’, so I can honestly say that I am currently a third generation trucker (but, now I’m starting to get ahead of myself in this saga).
I always knew that Grandpa’s first name was Ralph, but I didn’t learn what his middle name was until his funeral. He actually had two middle names. His full name was Ralph Waldo Emerson Webster. I never met his Father, but I can assume something from this name that was given to his youngest son… namely, that he had a favorite author who he wished to honor. I won’t know for certain, until I get to Heaven and can ask, but there’s a distinct possibility that my writing gift, that I started using less than three years ago, is in some way a direct answer to one of my Great-Grandpa’s prayers (are you starting to understand why I get so excited by simple coincidences now?).
Grandpa Webster died unexpectedly of a heart attack at the age of 75 (I was in my early 20’s). Most of the family was devastated, I had braced myself with the fact that he was old, and old people die (that’s why I hung on every word from his stories, even on the tenth retelling). You’ll learn on my next post what other event took place just before this that prepared me for this event.
My other three biological grandparents lived into their 90’s, so, many people assume that that means I will quite likely live well into old age. I like to think that it means that I have a very good chance of being alive when the rapture of the church takes place (but, then again, I thought it would have taken place before now). Don’t doubt that it will… it is in the Bible.
I’ll see you later. Wade