Blog 2117 – 07.12.2021
The Highest Priority
Among the many kinds of food that I have tried and enjoyed is Chinese food. And though I do not always eat the Chinese Fortune Cookie delivered with the check at the end of the meal I do always break it in half and read the fortune inside. A week or so ago I stopped for Chinese and received the following little note in my fortune cookie: “This year your highest priority will be your family.”
Jesus mother and brothers were trying to get near him once, but could not for the crowd of followers that were pressing around him. Someone spoke to Jesus and said his family was trying to get to him and he answered them waving his arms at those nearest him saying, “These are my mother and my brothers, they are my family, they that do the will of my father who sent me.” Often we act as if our only family were our immediate kin and no one denies that we have a responsibility to those we are closely related to, sharing the same DNA, but we share divine parentage not just earthly and our family is large indeed.
If was said of my dad, that he never met a stranger. My dad grew up in an impoverished South decimated by a Civil War sixty some odd years before his birth and that with the rest of the country fell into the a Great Depression while he was still a child. It was an area of the country where white folks sang, “Old times there are not forgotten, look away, look away Dixieland.” And, yes it was very much a segregated society and not at all color blind, but it was also further divided into the the haves and have nots, much as it still is today. But even in this narrow minded world that my daddy grew up in people called even those they had never met before, “Cousin” because they understood that we are all related, that we are all family.
I grew up knowing only one maternal grandfather and his Lily. My other three grandparents had passed before my birth. My mom and dad spoke of their parents, but knew little of our family tree. I did some research and was surprised how far back I could trace the Whites and the Davidson clan. Recently with DNA tracing I know the names of many of my third, fourth, and fifth cousins. Still I am reminded of of another New Testament verse that says, “He created us of one blood ” or words to that effect or affect. We are all family and our highest priority this and every year that we live should be our family.
None of us really knows how many years we have left this go round. In the first year of my seventieth decade some of you newer arrivals may think you have far more years and decades to go than I, but we shall see about that. I have already out lived many of my near relations and many friends and loved ones, even my beloved daughter Emily.
My one true wife, Linda, the one who unlike the others would not let me go, and I am so glad, has stayed with me now almost thirty-one years. And we were together a year and a half before we wed. We have a son Jonathan David James Wallace White, who goes by Jay, who recently married the love of his life, his Lauren. Since they are both in their early thirties they are thinking about starting a family as soon as possible.
Linda and I are excited about the possibility of grand babies. Time was, thirty years ago when we were both a bit anxious that we might not live to see our son grown and on his own. I recently decided that this is going to be my last on the road contract inspector assignment. After a year and a half of being with my loving and lovely wife every day and seeing my son every few weeks I miss my family too much to be away from them. I cannot bear the thought of missing out on any of the grand baby stuff either. So by this birthday, my seventy first, I hope to be retired and home to stay. (I still plan to keep trying to convince my wife to spend some time each spring and fall traveling together. We have not seen Paris yet and I plan to store my little house on wheels at her mother’s farm in South Carolina so we can use it travel in across this wide country if we choose.)
I have said before that I do not believe the Bible or any so called holy book has a special corner on the truth. I have found the encouraging, enlightening, and entertaining word in many other places. Chinese fortune cookies are as good a source as any. This year my highest priority will be my family. Have a wonderful Monday, Cousins.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
One Boy One Girl