Life in the Second Act

by Lynn Berna...

Although it gives the room a serene feeling, it is time to change out my Billy Jacobs snowy winter canvas prints for colorful spring landscapes.  While I find myself in this reflective mood, how much do you value the influence of grandparents in your child’s life?  Let’s talk about happy childhoods, how grandparenting matters and a very good movie on forgiveness. So, what was your life like when you were a child?  For me, having grandparents that lived with us for several years created so many happy memories.  

The grandparents were more patient and seemed to have more time to answer your questions or show you how to do something.  I remember my grandma braiding my hair, singing to me in the car and making little sailboats out of Teaberry gum wrappers.  My grandpa would take me fishing and catch lightning bugs with me.  Once we found a chubby caterpillar.  Placed it in a jar.  Then, we watched as it made a cocoon.  Later when it was time to get its wings, the magnificent Cecropia moth sprung forth.  Such a beauty to behold!    

Be sure to value this important investment grandparents can make.  Realize their gift of love and time will be forever remembered by your children.  Make staying close a priority so that you will never regret it.  

Recently I was impressed by the movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” on Mister Rogers life, played by actor Tom Hanks.  There were so many great takeaways from this movie.  Sharing a few of them with the hope it will inspire you as it did me.  Mister Rogers helps a magazine writer, Lloyd Vogel, deal with how to overcome his anger toward his father and show forgiveness.  While the magazine writer is assigned to interview him about his show for children, Lloyd ends up benefitting even more.  At one point, while Mister Rogers and Lloyd are having lunch together, Lloyd shares with him that he is a broken person.  Mister Rogers says, “I don’t think you are broken.  I think you are a man of conviction.  A person who knows the difference between wrong and right.  Try to remember that your relationship with your father also helped shape those parts.  He helped you become who you are.  Would you do something with me now, Lloyd?   Take a minute and think about all the people who loved us into being.  Just one minute of silence.” Powerfully, the entire restaurant sits silently for one minute while everyone reflects on their personal relationships.   

Later, Lloyd talks with Mister Rogers wife, Joann, about what it is like to live with such a saint.  She explains the Presbyterian minister is not perfect.  She says her husband gets angry but chooses how he responds to that anger.  He does things every day that help to ground him.  He reads Bible scripture, swims laps, prays for people by name, and writes letters.  “Hundreds of them.”  While I take another sip of coffee, I would like to ask you, “What are you doing to ground yourself?”  Earlier in the movie, in a speech, the magazine writer shares something that also really got my attention.  Lloyd explained why he writes for magazines.  He said it is because, “We get to expose the truth that others cannot see and sometimes, just sometimes, we get to change a broken world with our words.”   

Drinking coffee from my favorite black mug, with the Bible verse from Jeremiah 17:7 printed on it in white letters: “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.”  Placing total confidence in the Lord that these retirement years will be productive, meaningful ones in His service, for you and me, as we live Life in the Second Act.  

Lynn Berna is a former Ohio Christian Radio Personality, Wife, Mom, Grandma, following God.  

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