This post was originally published on December 28, 2021, and received 19 views at the get-go but lacked the podcast listening option which required me to republish. Sorry for any inconvenience. Know that the original content remains unchanged.
In the Old Testament’s book of Genesis, Noah was the tenth and last of the biblical patriarchs. He was chosen by God as the only righteous man of his time and is known infamously as the hero of the Flood story (2,000-10,000 BCE).
From 2013 to 2016, Noah was the number one boy’s baby name in the United States, peaking in 2016 when nearly 20,000 babies were named Noah—more than at any other time over the last 100 years. Our great-grandson, Noah, son of Tony and Megan, grandson of Jeff and Penny, and great-grandson of Bob and Joanne was one of those babies. He was born on April 2, 2015, making him six and half years old at Christmas time this year.
Our family’s Noah is truly a blessing from God. His temperament demonstrates the purity of his heart. Most of the time he is: smiling; respectful; freely giving of himself; shares with others; intentionally aims to make others happy; always at the ready to help; and, easily forgives, even those who might not deserve it.
Noah seems to also have an old soul with wisdom beyond his years. All of this does not say that he can do no wrong or that he doesn’t have an occasional off day. Like all of us, he does. But, on the eve of Christmas Eve, Noah spent his day at his grandparents with his cousins of similar ages baking cookies–an annual tradition at our son’s and daughter-in-law’s home. While using their creativity to select just the right cookie cutter shapes and to put their own icing and designs on them, Noah selects an angel cookie cutter. He frosts the wings white and then sprinkles silver glitter on them. Without showing off his cookie to others, he leaves the table with it and goes to find his “Pap,” Jeff.
Pap, was in the living room watching TV while the women and children were making cookies in the kitchen. Noah approaches him with his freshly made cookie hidden behind his back and then says, “Here, Pap, this is for granddaddy who died.” Jeff thanked Noah and told him how much he appreciated the cookie and his loving thoughts for granddaddy. Noah had just melted big Pap’s heart.
Now, this moment is also striking because the granddaddy Noah referenced was his great-great-grandfather, Frank Burton Boling. Granddaddy Frank passed away on August 22, 2018, when Noah was just shy of 3-1/2 years old. Noah and Granddaddy Frank visited each other only occasionally during those 3-1/2 years, usually to celebrate a family birthday, anniversary, or a special holiday. But his little heart absorbed like a sponge the love and respect he saw between his Pap, Jeff, and his GG-Granddaddy, Frank. Noah brings up GG-Granddaddy Frank to Pap often and Pap talks with him about the good times he shared with his grandfather. And, too, in Pap’s family room hangs a 20″ x 30″ framed picture of GG-Granddaddy Frank and GG-Grandmother, Norma. Now, Pap has just melted my heart. He openly shares his love and respect for his elders with our family’s younger generations. And, Jeff is a living example to Noah, and all our other grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the importance of and strength from having loving and respectful family relationships. Jeff continues that same close-knit bond between generations with his grandson, Noah. And, Noah’s interactions with Jeff are proof that he loves his grandfather just as much as his Pap loved his. Moreso, both know that certain activities and alone time are intended as special moments between just the two of them. I couldn’t have asked for more love than these two had for each other and for me!