Both of my grandfathers died before I was born. My two grandmothers always seemed very old and very religious.

One gave me my first Bible with ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding,’ written in her spidery writing inside the front cover. The other would never let us complain about the weather because, ‘This is the day that the Lord hath made’.

Then Clive Dunn recorded ‘Grandad’ in which Grandad is portrayed as a loveable, doddery old gentleman who can only remember stuff from the past.

When we became grandparents 18 years ago we discovered that it’s a bit like becoming parents – there aren’t any rules, you do the best you can and you make it up as you go along. You are unique, your grandchildren are unique and you just get on with it.

Yesterday was good. Rachel (wife) and Jo (daughter) were making plans for coming out of lockdown… two families meeting outside from Monday!

Meeting up in the garden together for the first time for many months – sharing pizzas, plans for Easter… It will be good. We haven’t stopped being grandparents, but we look forward to being active grandparents again.

I still like the reminder of the importance of a comma – the difference between, ‘Let’s eat, Grandma’, and ‘Let’s eat Grandma’.

This morning I’ve re-read the old Bible story of Ruth. It’s remarkably up-to-date in the issues it raises – immigration, bereavement, homelessness, hunger, ancient foodbanks, vulnerable women…

Throughout the grief and despair there’s always hope; there’s a God working unseen in the background. All is finally resolved – tears of bitterness turn to joy, the immigrant is the hero, the restless are settled, the anonymous find an identity, the homeless find a home, the hungry are fed – and there’s a wedding!

In the final scene Grandma Naomi has her grandson Obed on her lap. A truly happy ending.

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