Jacob Michael Sandrock

Jacob Michael Sandrock is my first great-grandbaby. He arrived when I am 89-1/2 years of age. I thank God over and over again that I have a great-grandbaby. I am blessed. I am the oldest of nine children. My brother Son and sister Elaine both died in 2008. Son had 43 great-grandchildren and Elaine had 16. When brother Bubbie died in 1999, he had 4 at that time.

Before Jacob was born, I called my daughter Wanda in Florida. He will be her first grandchild. I said, "We have a problem! Suppose Jacob's mother, grandmother and great-grand- mother…" Dortha interrupted, "And great-AUNT!" (Her first great-nephew).

"O.K. A mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and a great-aunt are sitting in the den watching TV while Jacob is sleeping in the nursery. Suddenly, we hear a cry. He's awake! Which ONE of us gets to help him?"

With not a moment's hesitation, Wanda ruled, "The one who can run the fastest!"

OH! The joy we share! Jacob is perfect…so pretty, I didn't want you to think I am prejudiced!

So, I'm sending you pictures, in color. These were taken on Saturday, getting him ready for the trip home from the hospital. He is alert, bright-eyed, wonderful…looks like he's already a month old, instead of a new-born. I'm writing this when he is three weeks of age. He has gained one pound 8 ounces…a precious armful. He has been photographed about 300 times so far! The small screen lap-top computer sits on his daddy's desk, constantly rolling out the pictures, over and over again, all day long! His daddy is a computer programmer with his office in their home.

I don't know how long the Lord will keep me here to share Jacob's life. He is a tiny little lovable miracle from God to us. He lives in Tomball, Texas, about 30 miles away from my home in Houston. As I saw his mother, Rachel, holding him in her arms, I thought, "There were 44 mothers who held their tiny baby son in their arms, completely oblivious to the fact that some day he would be president of the United States!"

I had only one kind of each related man in my life: Only one grandfather, W. 2 Smith, my dad's father. As a child growing up, I never felt more loved by any couple than Grandma and Grandpa Smith. They lived in Robstown, Texas, and were always genuinely happy to greet mother and daddy and all us nine children when we'd go for a visit. They'd be waiting our arrival while sitting in the front porch swing. I would be the first one out of the car and running into their open arms. They lived just two or three blocks from Main Street. Grandpa would always invite me to go with him to the Post Office. We'd stop at the drugstore for a sack of peppermint stick candy for all the kids. In my teenage years, Grandpa and I would talk about God. He was so very sure the end of the world would come in his lifetime. He loved reading the Bible…a man of prayer and worshipping God. He died on Christmas day, 1963.

I had only one father, Walter A. Smith. I take his Bible to church with me every Sunday since my heart attack because it is smaller, lighter, than mine. It is well-worn, marked on almost every page. I have no idea how old it is. As I hold it in my hand, I feel a closeness because he held it as he read real often. We were very close. I could take my problems to him. He loved God and served Him faithfully.

I had only one husband -- definitely the one God chose for me. We both worshipped God from the time we met as teens, and all through our marriage. We had a really good life together.

I have only one son. You read his testimony last month. He makes me proud!

I have only one grandson. He is 22, and hasn't found his station in life. He has many talents. He could be a golf pro…already made a hole-in-one, a feat many never achieve. He took lessons for a while from a pro. He could be a store manager…was about to become one when the economy collapsed. He studied "management." For a while, he had a yard work business called the Grass Chopper. I keep hoping he'll find his place. He's on my prayer list. God has a plan.

I have my first and only great-grandson to enjoy these remaining years. I am blessed.

Ooops! I forgot about brothers! I had four -- ALL wonderful, loving, caring men. " " ".

You don't get to choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. God not only chose them, but also chose your race, your country, your physical attributes. You get to choose what you will do with your life under the circumstances. I am glad I was a part of a large, caring, close-knit family. It's like being in an earlier heaven…not as perfect, but close.

Anwar el-Sadat, former president of Egypt said, "There can be hope only for a society which acts as one big family, not as many separate ones." It's the only institution that works. It fulfills Jesus' command to love one another.

We've heard and seen on TV a lot about a space shuttle launch this year. Do you know anyone who has been to Florida to ever watch this at the Kennedy Space Center? My brother Jerry has been a couple of times to see this spectacular event, but it was cancelled. This year, he made it…not only to watch, but to feel its pounding against his entire body! I've heard that NASA sells tickets for the primo viewing spot, but they go fast. Jerry and his daughter's family received free tickets from the pilot.

One of my nieces, Courtney Cobb, writes a letter to me almost every week. She is my brother Jerry's granddaughter. Todd and Letitia (Jerry's daughter) have four children. Their family and Jerry drove to Florida to see the Launch in April. I'll share with you what Courtney wrote about it. She is only 12 years old, and writes wonderful letters. Excerpts from two:

"My family and I went to Florida for the first time! To see the Launch for the first time! Our good friend Mr. James (Jim as we call him) Dutton, is the pilot of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Jim and the crew are at the Space Station. They left on Monday morning at 6:21 a.m. on April 5th. It was a beautiful sight. There was no sun yet, so you could see the whole sky light up. The ground did shake a little but not enough to scare Kevin! (Which if it did not scare him, it was not scary at all). At the end of the Launch, the smoke and clouds came together and formed one big heart (for Mr. Dutton, I think). Then later, while we were waiting for our bus to arrive, the big cloud made 6 little hearts (for all the Dutton family, Jim, Erin, and their 4 boys: J.P. for James Patrick, Will for William, Joe for Joseph and Ryan for baby Ryan. I think that is who all the hearts were for). Anyway, that was my Easter -- just driving pretty much."

"Mr. Pilot Jim Dutton was the pilot of the Space Shuttle "Discovery" that just went up on April 9th. Well, he is back safely and on his feet and giving me hugs. He got to talk at my sister's school; and when he got back, in Houston. It was really neat. We missed him so much. He lives in Friendswood, TX right by us, and he goes to our church. He is a real good, Christian guy. Well, I just thought you might want to know about that. But words cannot describe the feeling and the sensation about it all."

I recently read a "watermelon joke" which really made me laugh. I thought of Mr. Willard Baxley, the man who found one of the balloons launched by our church school children last year, and who gave me his watermelon story in June "Happenings."

"A farmer was tired of kids stealing his watermelons, so he decided to put a sign in the middle of the crop. It warned that one of the melons had been poisoned. The next day he went out to check his crop and saw his sign now said two of the melons had been poisoned." (Robert Carrow, Houston Chronicle)

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