Friday, June 22, 2012

Gifts around the Table

He's quiet as he looks at the menu, a little stooped in his chair. Fingernails with a little bit of grease there, no matter how much he scrubs.  It comes from 60+ years of being a mechanic, of providing for a family of four girls and two boys, of hard work and long days and naps in the recliner. 

And next to him, a little loud, a little rambunctious, swirling the spaghetti on a fork and barely missing his full cup of Dr. Pepper.  Hair spiked up and glasses down on his nose.  This fourth generation around the table.. my wild man. 

Shared histories, stories we all know but still laugh at.  The two girls at the end heading off to college in the fall; those special gifts who I'm sure sometimes wish they didn't share a birthday, but they're bonded over October 8th and the nursery and this crazy, loud family.  A little on down three boys, a few years apart in years and different in personalities, but common in a love for basketball and maybe even a love for family, although at times one of them wouldn't admit it.  And next to me, 16.. how?  I can remember snuggling him in the chair as we watched KET. Now, he's driving and has a job. 

Four sisters, the baby who is still the baby and the oldest who still cares for everyone around the table.  The two son-in-laws Mike... also different in temperament but special in their own ways. Wallace, who somehow fits in just right, even though he acts like he doesn't.

And he looks up and smiles as they bring him free cheesecake, and she asks for a box because she could never eat that much.  Our voices raise in a Happy Birthday, and I am struck by these blessings...

How fitting that my 1000 gifts joy dare today were three gifts around the table.  How about 19 gifts, each of them unique, but all apart of the same thread?  Thank You, Lord for 82 birthdays and for a marriage of love and for four generations...

Happy Birthday, Papaw Jr!

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