Last Saturday, October 30th, Steve took 5 of his 6 grandsons (the 6th is still too young to enjoy such an adventure) to Auburn for an exciting game against rival Ole Miss. They left early and stopped at Waffle House in Cullman for a big breakfast. After about 7 years of carrying on this tradition, Waffle House has become a treasured part of the day, and we still chuckle about Sam reporting back to his parents that they "have free butter and syrup." :)
They parked the truck, boarded a shuttle bus to a stop near the stadium, then proceeded to cover the campus on foot. They were on the front row for Tiger Walk two hours before kickoff and got high fives from Coach Harsin and several star players, after seeing Aubie and the cheerleaders go by. Youngest grandson Silas, who doesn't follow college sports at all, was disappointed when no REAL tigers walked past them. Ya gotta love it when kids take things so literally. :)
They found their seats near the very top of the upper deck and loved the spectacle of a nighttime game with all the lights, fireworks, music, Jumbotron, and eagle flying. They even saw THEMSELVES on the Jumbotron dancing with all their might.
The Auburn Tigers were victorious, and even though the upper deck concessions stand basically ran out of food in the 3rd quarter, the boys were happy, excited, and very glad to have been there for the big win. It was almost 3:00 a.m. before they crawled into beds and air mattresses when they arrived back at our house.
The next morning when Steve shared some of the funny moments with me, his eyes became misty when he said, "You know what day it was, don't you?" I did. October 30th. His dad drowned in a boating accident on October 30, 1997. Steve knew how much his dad would have LOVED hearing about the day his son and great-grandsons had spent together.
Before Steve could see over the kitchen countertops, he remembers looking up at the radio on that counter blaring the Auburn games while his dad paced, cheered, and lamented as each play took place. Choosing to pull for Auburn was never up for debate. If you were a Pearson, you were an Auburn fan. Steve's dad and both of his uncles went to Auburn. Steve and his brother went to Auburn. My sister-in-law and I graduated from Auburn. Their two children and two of our children graduated from Auburn. It's just a huge part of who we are, and it's the result of the generations being carefully taught from infancy.
Granddaddy Pearson passed down other traits and habits -- fishing, whistling/humming, enjoying a roaring fire, laughing, telling jokes, working hard, being astute with money, providing for his family, remaining faithful to his marriage vows, and practicing unwavering commitment to Christ and the church. As long as I knew him, I don't remember hearing him PREACH about those things. He modeled them by his day-to-day behavior. I am a fortunate woman to have married one of Elton Pearson's sons. Elton's father before him was also an exemplary role model. Frank Pearson owned a dry goods store on the square in Moulton and was the treasurer of Moulton Baptist Church for many years. During a time when trust was given completely, the church members allowed him to take home the weekly offerings to count and deposit in the bank. Many Sunday afternoons Steve can remember going to visit his grandparents and seeing that money laid out on the dining room table in neat piles. I know, without a doubt, that there was never a single penny missing or unaccounted for. I am indeed lucky to be married to one of Frank Pearson's grandsons.
I know that Steve has instilled a love for Auburn into our children and is spreading that to our grandchildren, but I believe there are many more important traits and tendencies they are learning from him, as well. My fervent prayer is that in the days to come 6 young ladies will express how blessed they are to be married to one of Steve Pearson's grandsons.
When we celebrated Steve's parents' 50th anniversary, our son Matt sang this song that we believe epitomized the two of them and their legacy.
Lyrics to "Find Us Faithful" by Steve Green --
We're pilgrims on the journey of the narrow road, And those who've gone before us line the way. Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary, Their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace.
Refrain: O may all who come behind us find us faithful, May the fire of our devotion light their way. May the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe, And the lives we live inspire them to obey. O may all who come behind us find us faithful.
Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, Let us run the race not only for the prize, But as those who've gone before us, let us leave to those behind us, The heritage of faithfulness passed on thru godly lives.
After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone, And our children sift thru all we've left behind, May the clues that they discover, and the mem'ries they uncover, Become the light that leads them, to the road we each must find. (Repeat refrain)
Proverbs 13:22 says that "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children." I'm thinking a lot today about what all those words really mean. What will be MY legacy? What will be YOUR legacy?
Psalm 78.4: We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.
Joshua 4.21-22: And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’”
Psalm 145.4: One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.