Grandfamilies: On Fixing Stuff


An Allegory

One weekend, some years ago, I wielded my glue gun to affix little foam hearts, brightly colored, about the size of a golf ball’s shadow, all around the edges of a plate-glass mirror. Now, you can buy these foam hearts (or animals, or alphabet characters) by the tub at craft stores. They’re sold as foam stickers, so the fact that I needed the glue gun should have been my first clue that this project wasn’t shaping up as I had imagined it would.

The mirror had belonged to my grandparents. It was a big, heavy mirror, mounted on a slab of wood, with a thick wire hanger that reached from one side to the other across its back. It would have been a beautiful mirror, except for the chip: sometime before the mirror came to live with me, it shed a chunk  the size of my left thumb. The chip didn’t dig all the way down to the wooden backing, but it dinged the bevel that surrounded the mirror.

If you happened to admire a reflection that ranged over the chip, you would be rewarded with one little funhouse-wobbly edge of the image. 

Every time I looked at the mirror, or in the mirror, I thought: This mirror would be so delightful if only it didn’t have that chip. 

It takes time to hot-glue little one-inch-wide not-so-stickery foam hearts, overlapped on the clockwise side, with the color selection carefully randomized, all the way around a big mirror. By the time I had completed my foray into craftiness, my handiwork enchanted me.

I lifted the heavy mirror and carefully hung it back on the wall in my bathroom. The foam hearts complemented the polka-dot curtains I had recently sewn for the window.

Satisfied, I arranged myself on the sofa to enjoy a magazine and a refreshing beverage. I’d ventured only 12 pages and three sips into my relaxation when a horrific crash resounded through my little house.

The mirror had slipped off its hooks and fallen to the floor, where it lay in a heap of glittering shards and little foam hearts, all crushed beneath a slab of wood, with a thick wire hanger that reached from one side to the other across its back.

rabbit conga

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.

 1 John 2:16 (ESV)

rabbit conga

On Tuesdays, we’re talking about families and the joys and challenges that arise when we stretch across three (or more?) generations (child, parent, grandparent). Everyone is welcome, and I hope to hear each generation’s perspective.  Being family is by turns effortless, impossible, blessed, challenging, hurtful, joyous . . . . Let’s talk about it.
Please join us.

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