By Ralphine Major
The image warms my heart—a toddler interacting with a 96-year-old man. The WWII veteran’s face almost becomes a silhouette as his hat shields him from the summer sun. He is showing the little boy how to use the bubble gun machine. It is a single picture in the life of a little boy and the elderly man. But, it is much more than what we can see. It was a Saturday morning when we saw little Timothy and his parents. They were on their way to the aquarium for a day of adventure. Before we parted ways, Timothy’s father showed us the striking photo.
Timothy’s father, Grant, had just returned from a mission trip with Wallace Memorial Baptist Church. Grant was a youngster himself when we first met him several years ago. He often visited with our mother during choir practice on Wednesday nights. They once had a deep discussion on the angel book she was reading. His visits with her were so special, she bought him a copy of the book. At last account, he still had it. Grant is married to the former Emily Russell. Emily grew up on a farm in middle Tennessee and shares Grant’s family values.
Timothy is named after his father and his grandfather, Dr. Tim Williams, our dentist. To Grant and Emily’s credit, they realize the importance of family ties and maintaining close relationships with each other. One day their adventure took them to upper East Tennessee for Timothy to visit with his great-great-grandfather, Albert Williams, for whom he is also named. That is what makes the picture even more special; it shows the youngest and the oldest of five generations. At his young age, Timothy may not realize the rare opportunity he has to be with his great-great-grandfather Williams—but his parents do.
After high-fives to everyone, this precious little boy and his parents were off to the aquarium. Whatever photos are made at the aquarium or other fun places they visit, none can top the toddler and his great-great-grandfather. It is a priceless image that will stay in my mind always.