Baby Bison, don't tread on that pretty flower...

Baby Bison, don't tread on that pretty flower...
Custer State Park, SD; June, 2010

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Columbia, TN, United States
I am a Christian, married over 43 years to my gorgeous first wife; in 13th year as professor of education at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, TN; 4 children and 9 grandchildren.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

A Letter to Kellyn

Dear Kellyn,I know you won’t be able to read this for a long time, but perhaps your mommy or daddy can read it to you until then.

Welcome to this world, little girl. I’m your proud grandpa Kerbe and I live in a place called Tennessee. That’s about 1100 miles from your home in New Mexico, so you and I probably won’t meet in person for a few months. Perhaps I’ll see you via Skype. I already know you are very beautiful from the photos your grandma Delores has put on Facebook and sent to me as email attachments. Don’t worry that you don’t know about Skype, Facebook, or email. By the time you understand about them, they may be obsolete relics anyway like VCRs, landlines, and snail mail (well almost). You will discover that your world is changing quickly in its technology; but the people, the most important part of your world, remain mostly the same.

That’s what I want to write to you about…the important people in your life from this beginning in August of 2010. They are all unique and very, very special; and they will all love, care for, and support you well as you grow. Lean on them for your sustenance; rely on them for your nurturing. They can and will help you celebrate all your achievements and empower you to overcome all obstacles and meet all the challenges life with set in your path.

First and foremost there are your parents. Your mother, Kara, is my older daughter and 2nd child. She is already an amazing mom to your twin siblings (more about them in a minute). When I think of your mom, I think tall, happy, and lovely. She has an absolutely fabulous voice. No doubt you already recognize it and have been sung to many times in the last nine months. Now that you’re out of her “tummy,” you will be able to hear it much better and unmuffled. You will become enamored with her prolific repertoire of pretty and sometimes silly tunes. She also has a charming laugh. Laughter is one of the more delightful qualities in your mom. That’s been true about her since she was a very young child. You’ll learn all about the rest of her outstanding qualities over the next few years. Watch and listen to your mother to become a wonderful mother and wife yourself as she has.You father, Barry, is what your world calls my son-in-law; he, too, has some wonderful traits. His character is straightforward; he’s a great fix-it man. That’s a really cool talent that I don’t possess but sometimes wish I did. You will enjoy having your dad read to you, play with you, and, when you’re just a little older, wrestle and tumble with you on the floor, bed, or couch. He is a man of wisdom and common sense. Watch and learn from him.Both your parents have a great faith in God and His Son Jesus. Emulate their example of love for their Lord and for family and friends. They will, no doubt, read and tell you many Bible stories over the next few years. Look for your heroes and role models from the pages of God’s book. Strive to become like Sarah and Hannah and Ruth and Mary and Lydia and Dorcas and the many other women whose example your mother follows in her life. None of these ladies of Bible fame was perfect. Of course, the best heroes in your life should be your mom and dad. They are both Christians and very special people.

Your house may be a little on the noisy side compared to the hospital where you were born and spent your first few days of life. That’s because of the twin toddlers who “rule” that domain. They are almost two years old and are everywhere and into everything. Your sister, Alyna, is a beautiful little girl with a smile as sweet as your mother’s. She is very helpful to your mother, as you will undoubtedly be some day. She loves being read to, playing with dolls, and romping outside. Your brother, Ryan, is all little boy. Some of his favorite things are cars, books, cars, playing outside, cars, and climbing. Did I mention he likes cars? You may hear his, “V-roooom, v-roooom!” all over the house and yard at any time. Both your siblings are special children who are learning to love God and Jesus. Let them help you learn and grow and your life will be truly amazing. The last member of your immediate family is a very friendly beagle dog named Henrey. He likes to be petted and to chase squirrels around your back yard. Be kind to him and don’t chase him off the couch when he’s comfortably dozing as your brother Ryan sometimes does.You will quickly discover how good your grandma Delores is with babies and children. She’s a school counselor and works with kids all day long. Her favorite things are grandkids and reading. She’s a great cook as well. Just between you and me, Kellyn, she is the most wonderful wife and mother on the planet; and she is beautiful, looking about 20 years younger than she really is…shhhhh – we don’t usually talk about women’s ages.Before we move on to other family members, let me tell you a little about me. I am extremely proud to be the father of four wonderful children with their four fabulous spouses and now grandpa to five remarkable grandchildren (with two more on the way over the next six months). I enjoy travelling; photographing grandkids, nature scenes, and wildlife; playing racquetball; writing; reading; teaching; and singing. I work as a college professor instructing my students in how to be fantastic teachers. I like cooking healthy meals and eating them too. I look forward to holding you in my arms soon.You have a lot of other marvelous family whom you will meet over the next few months. I’ll only mention your mother’s side of the family. You’ll meet your Colorado grandparents and hear all about your father’s family in a couple of weeks.

As I already mentioned, Grandma and I have four children all with families of their own. First came Matthew. He’s the oldest. He is a high-tech guru. While your other three uncles on our side all are fairly adept with computers and technology, Uncle Matt creates, maintains, and fixes that stuff for a living. He gets to travel around the country helping companies develop technology that is better, faster, and smarter. He is also an excellent song leader at church. He is a great dad and is married to Kathryne. They met at Harding University. Hopefully you’ll learn about that place as you grow up. Aunt Kathryne is an enthusiastic Christian lady who is a marvelous wife and mother. As what we call a stay-at-home mom, she is a great cook, has a wonderful sense of humor, home-schools her two boys, Sean and Joshua (my other two, somewhat older grandchildren), and helps her family to be debt-free with a healthy lifestyle. You can learn a lot from your Uncle Matt and Aunt Kathryne. Their kids (mentioned earlier), Sean and Joshua, are all boy…jumping and running through life with an energy and exuberance that amazes me. They like to read, learn, draw, play, and even help their mom cook sometimes. They take care of a large golden retriever dog named Lily and a couple of cats.Following your mother Kara, our second child, there came our 3rd child, Aunt Krista. She was our lovely little princess who enjoyed life as she played with her dolls and her friends. She was always the social child in the family with bunches of friends. Our other three children always had good friends as well, but just not usually as many as your Aunt Krista. Krista is a nurse in Massachusetts. She is married to Uncle Adam who is manager of a Walgreens store. So when Aunt Krista helps sick people get well enough to leave the hospital, they can go to your Uncle Adam’s Walgreens and get medications to help them get and stay well. Walgreens stores used to be known mainly as drugstores, but now you can buy lots of other stuff there as well. Aunt Krista and Uncle Adam are part of what is called a “church-plant team” from Harding University thata worships in their homes and tries to reach out to others for and with the Lord. They have a beagle named Tessa as well as some cats. They hope to add to their family with their first child in February who will be another of your cousins.Our 4th child, your Uncle Daniel, just graduated with honors from Harding University this past May with a degree in Youth and Family Ministry. During the first years of his life, he liked cowboys and horses; but he’s outgrown that now. He is an amazing song leader at church. He is married to a wonderful Christian lady, your Aunt Katelyn, who is a social worker helping families and children. They live in Arkansas. Your cousin Aiden will be joining their family in about six weeks. They also have pet cats in the house.Well, Kellyn, that’s your family on your mom’s side. You have lots of extended family beyond these, but these are the ones who are your closest kin. They will all love you and be there for you as you adjust to this new world of yours.

Before I close this letter, Kellyn, I want to share some of the ideas from the words that the 16th President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln, once wrote to his son’s teacher on that child’s first day of school. Among other things he stated…

• Life requires faith, love, and courage.
• For every enemy, there is a friend.
• All men are not just, all men are not true.
• For every scoundrel there is a hero.
• For every crooked politician, there is a dedicated leader.
• 10 cents earned is of far more value than a dollar found.
• It is far more honorable to fail than to cheat.
• Learn how to gracefully lose.
• Be gentle with people.
• Steer away from envy.
• Learn quiet laughter.
• Laugh when you are sad.
• There is no shame in tears.
• Learn the wonders of books.
• Take time to ponder the mystery of birds in the sky and flowers on a green hill.
• Learn to have faith in your own ideas.
• Don’t follow the crowd just because everyone else is.
• Filter all you hear on a screen of truth and take only the good that comes through.
• Never put a price tag on your heart and soul.
• Have faith in mankind and especially in God.

Kellyn, there is a lot of wisdom in those words. Most of it was written first in the Bible. I hope to see you soon. I love you.

Grandpa Kerbe

1 comment:

  1. Hey Kerbe,

    Congratulations on another beautiful grand baby! They are so precious.

    Your pictures (Bison & Scene) are spectacular! Keep it up.

    Love ya!

    Don Wood

    ReplyDelete