“I Hope I Can Be Half the Man”

My Granddad was a great man with a good name. It was not that Roy Clyde Jenkins was a better appellative than any other. He was a man of good reputation, honor, and integrity. He didn’t have many of this world’s material goods. He raised nine children on a dirt-poor farm. Seven of those children were the fruit of his union with Nanny and two were adopted nieces.

My Dad use to say, “I just hope I can be half the man my dad is.” Well Dad, sorry, you failed! You are not half the man your Dad is, you excelled and you’re more the man your Dad was. I just hope I can be half the man you are. If I can be just a little bit of Granddad and little bit of you, I will be more than enough!

My children didn’t know my Granddad. He passed away long before they were born. Let me rephrase that: they never met their Great-Granddad. However, they can know and see him through their Granddad. From the standpoint of material goods, my Dad has much more than my Granddad ever had. But in the things that count, my Dad reflects his Dad.

Like his father, my Dad has a good name. His reputation is unsullied. He is respected even by those who disagree with him. Dee Bowman used to say, “Jesse Jenkins is the easiest man to disagree with.” 

Similarly, both men took care of their wives as they grew old. My Dad is taking care of my Mom now. He is her primary caretaker. Their love for their wives is exemplary. Granddad passed away years before Nanny, but what he prepared beforehand, provided for Nanny until her death. Likewise, Dad has also provided for himself and Mom, so that she’s taken care of, even when he’s gone.

Further, like his father, my Dad read the Bible with his children every night of the week. He lived what he professed. I can remember when the whole family got together at Nanny and Granddad’s during the holidays. Every night, he would call us all together and read the Bible. Then, he would get down on one knee and pray. Both men loved the word of God!

There is much more, but one final similarity. Both love God preeminently and it shows in their life. The reason they had a good name was Christ living in them. In his later years, Granddad preached. Dad has been preaching for 75 years. For neither was it just a job--preaching was a labor of love.

Yes, my children know their Great Granddad because they know their Granddad. It is a lot to live up to, but I hope my grandchildren will know my Dad because they know me.

Rickie Jenkins