A Gift on Papa's Day
You Both Have Hearts of Gold

I have wrestled with the emotional impact that my two youngest grandchildren have had upon me over the past 5 years. I have written countless articles about this phenomenon. While I wrestle with it, I received on Father's Day, aka Papa's Day, a gift from Jack, Owen, and their parents. It is a figurine of a small child holding a golden heart.

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I cherish this gift, because it represents the very real relationship that I have with Jack and Owen and they with me. They love to learn, explore their new world, and a long list of additional reasons for our relationship. However, of all the things that I see in them, their love for me is a treasure. They love me unconditionally, and I love them in the same way. As I look back on five years with Jack and three years with Owen, I cherish their innocent expressions of love in their faces even as infants holding tightly to my finger.

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Jack is a couple hours old.

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Owen is just home from the hospital.

Or looking fondly into each other's face....

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Description: Al holding Owen

Or being fed by a concerned toddler....

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Or playing with them....

Description: Jack is bouncing on my back while Owen shows me his giraffe.

Description: Jack and Al playing

Description: Owen on his pony

Or just resting....

Description: Al and Jack snuggling

Then there is trusting Papa who is holding a snake to pet.

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Or planting flowers with them

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Or surfing the Internet

Description: Al cooking with Jack and Owen

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I see that little statue every day, which reminds me of Jack and Owen. It reminds me that they honestly love me, and they know that I love them. I know that when I get a hug and kiss from them that they mean it. In a world that is less honest than they are, our relationship will abide.

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Another part of our relationship is that of trust. We know that we can trust each other. Whether they jump into my arms as I catch them or we walk together, they know that I am there for them.

While Jack and Owen know that they are loved as much as they love me, I have been around for many decades, danced with death a couple times, and often been disillusioned by the world. However, I know and they know of our love for each other.

I have written about George Eliot's Silas Marner many times. He was a crotchety old recluse who experienced new life toward the end of his life. The instrument of Marner's rebirth was a little girl named Eppie. Eliot wrote about this transformation of Marner and all of us.

In old days, there were angels who came and took men by the hand and led them away from the city of destruction. We see no white-winged angels now. But yet men are led away from threatening destruction: a hand is put into theirs, which leads them forth gently towards a calm and bright land, so that they look no more backward; and the hand may be a little child's.

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Silas and Eppie

That wondrous transformation can be replicated by that of a little child's hand.

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Thanks, Jack and Owen. You both have hearts of gold.

The Hand May Be a Little Child's

"The Hand May Be a Little Child's"

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