I remember when my dear friend, Pat Weimer, called to tell me that her first grandchild had been born. I was in the Chicago area helping my daughter who had just delivered a set of twins. I felt so much joy that my friend and I would be watching our grandchildren grow up together. Sadly that was not to happen. She departed this earth when her Alan was still a toddler, but she left behind a recording of her undying love for him. It is I who has had the privilege of watching Alan Anderson grow into a very fine young man.
I often stayed with Alan and his younger brother whenever his parents were out of town. I got to know Alan quite well during those precious moments. I saw that he was a quiet and inquisitive child whose thoughts were always deeper than his age might have suggested. He enjoyed reading from a very young age and when he was still a boy our days would end with me reading a chapter from his latest book while he listened intently to the story. He always had profound thoughts about what he had just heard.
On one occasion I accompanied Alan and his brother to Boston while his mother attended a conference associated with her work. My task was to take the two boys around town to see all of the historical sites. Of course we visited all of the many wonderful places that Boston has to offer, but it seemed that Alan enjoyed the museums the most.
Alan would intently read every single sign and stand before artifacts as if pondering every detail about them. He rarely said much regarding what he saw, but when he did his comments were insightful and demonstrated his own knowledge of history. I learned that he was an avid fan of historical tracts and he had memorized people, dates and political discourse because of his fascination with such things. The trip to Boston had only reinforced his interests in learning about the past and applying its lessons to the present.
Alan and his family moved away and I did not get to see him as much as I once had. Even when I visited he was often busy being a teenager so our interactions dwindled. He remained a very quiet person, but whenever he did speak he became animated by the thought of entering college and finally studying history and political science and international relations more in depth. It was apparent that his passion for such topics had only increased over time.
Alan will graduate from high school this weekend. He plans to attend Texas Christian University in the fall where he will join the Honors College to major in political science and international relations. I think of his grandmother and how proud she would have been of his accomplishments and of the kind and thoughtful young man that he has become.
In the long ago my husband and I often visited Alan’s grandparents. We sat around their kitchen table talking for hours. The topic of politics was a regular feature of those sessions. We used to joke that my husband and Pat’s should have had a regular television show in which they sat around discussing past and current events because both of them were so well versed in the evolution of governments at home and around the world. We could never have known back then that one day there would be an Alan who would carry on that tradition in planning his life’s work.
I wish Alan the greatest success as he ends his time as a child and enters the adult world of learning. I hope that he still knows in his heart how much his grandmother loved him and always will even from her heavenly home. I smile when I think of that little boy with the big thoughts that seemed to come from a mature spot in his mind that always surprised me. I suppose that Alan has been on this path for most of his life, and now he will gather the knowledge that will lead to great contributions to our world.
Remember the name, Alan Anderson, for surely you will hear it again one day. He’s always been a man with the plan and he’s on his way to the greatness that his grandmother once imagined for him. Congratulations, Alan. I am proud to have had a part in your life and I wish you all the best in your new home for the next few years. Be the best Texas Christian frog than you can be and enjoy each and every moment. Most of all, always remember that you are loved.