My grandson, Grayer, was born to my oldest daughter, Storey, this past Sunday afternoon. We made it to the hospital literally ten minutes before he was born. He is a big boy, weighing in at 8 lbs. 10 oz. This is our second grandchild (and my parents' ninth great-grandchild!), but the experience was as deep and meaningful as the first.
I told Kim after our first grandchild, Cambell, was born, "Everything else is gravy." Yes, I want to be around for my second daughter's first child, my next book, what God will do next through Legacy, and what Kim and I will experience in old age; but, once your child has had a child and you see they are doing well, there's a sense you have made your contribution, and you can go Home now. Everything after your grandchild is like gravy on a serving of home-made turkey dressing at Thanksgiving. It's all good without it, but with it, it doesn't get better.
I know you are supposed to aspire to produce great and enduring things until you cross the finish line, but having a grandchild somehow cements the fact you were here, you have a legacy, and somehow no matter how your life turns out, you have another chance for your influence to make an everlasting difference in the lives of others.
Having grandchildren helps me appreciate all those long lists of names in the Bible. It mattered who had whom and what people did after those before them exited the planet. Yes, there's the Story of God and God's purposes in all of the names, but there is also the sense, "See, I was part of this thing, too." Gandpa Obed, had to be as proud as his son, Jesse, when Samuel anointed his grandson, David, the next king of Israel. We know nothing more than that Obed was David's grandfather. And, from Gandpa Obed's point of view, that's all you need to know.
Right now, I'm happy to be Grayer and Cambell's grandfather. All the other things are significant, but what Kim and I have experienced as parents and grandparents is enough to go Home complete.