No Greater Love than this- that a man sacrifice his toe for his grandchildren

A week ago today, I was at a water park with two of my grandsons, who were visiting.  For their birthday (turning 7 and 11), I took them to a water park/ride place.  The plan was to do water park for the first half of the day, and then turn to the roller coasters, ferris wheels, etc., to finish off the day.

Being small and their first trip ever to such a park, I started them out on the slower water slides.  Quickly, they discovered the faster and curvier rides. As grandfather, I naturally had to accompany them on whatever water tube they chose to go down.  The faster tubes quickly became their favorites.

During one trip going down on an innertube, I found myself going around a curve at sufficient speed to go to the top of the water tube.  Unfortunately, instead of sliding back down, I lost my momentum and plummeted face first towards the bottom of the tube.  I face/toe planted on the bottom.  Knowing that another person would be coming down shortly, I quickly tried to get back on my innertube, but was unsuccessful.  So I slid down the rest of the way just holding onto the innertube.  The person behind me actually came upon me as we both exited the ride.

Once out of the water tube, I started assessing damage.  My spare glasses were bent somewhat, but that’s why I was wearing spare glasses.  Right cheek was a little sore where I impacted the tube.  All along my body check, I knew I would get to the biggest problem upon getting to my left big toe.  It was already pounding in pain.  Without even glancing, I knew it was broken.

What to do?  If I said anything to the workers, I would have immediately been apprehended by their medical staff and taken to the nearest hospital, with the day shot for the grandsons.

Instead, I hobbled around the rest of the day and we enjoyed several more hours of rides together.  I finally made it to the ER at 10:30 pm, where they assured me it was indeed broken.  I then lost all my pride, when my wife began giggling and laughing out loud for several minutes, while imagining me crashing and burning inside the water tube. For the grandsons, it was a day they won’t forget.  For me it was worth sacrificing my toe and a little discomfort for a few hours to watch them finish a ride and shout, “That was AWESOME!”

So, what kind of sacrifices have you done for loved ones? Wwere they worth it?  And did your spouse mock you later about it?

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About rameumptom

Gerald (Rameumptom) Smith is a student of the gospel. Joining the Church of Jesus Christ when he was 16, he served a mission in Santa Cruz Bolivia (1978=1980). He is married to Ramona, has 3 stepchildren and 7 grandchildren. Retired Air Force (Aim High!). He has been on the Internet since 1986 when only colleges and military were online. Gerald has defended the gospel since the 1980s, and was on the first Latter-Day Saint email lists, including the late Bill Hamblin's Morm-Ant. Gerald has worked with FairMormon, More Good Foundation, LDS.Net and other pro-LDS online groups. He has blogged on the scriptures for over a decade at his site: Joel's Monastery ( He has the following degrees: AAS Computer Management, BS Resource Mgmt, MA Teaching/History. Gerald was the leader for the Tuskegee Alabama group, prior to it becoming a branch. He opened the door for missionary work to African Americans in Montgomery Alabama in the 1980s. He's served in two bishoprics, stake clerk, high council, HP group leader and several other callings over the years. While on his mission, he served as a counselor in a branch Relief Society presidency.

5 thoughts on “No Greater Love than this- that a man sacrifice his toe for his grandchildren

  1. Great story!!! Thank you! I think we need more of these kinds of experiences. Inconveniencing ourselves for the benefit of those we care about is one of the many ways to show love.

    6 months ago, I was at a stake priesthood meeting. After the meeting someone brought out creamsicles. I remember I was eating a creamsicle, and a friend of mine grabbed the last one and was excited to eat it. When a new deacon came up looking for a creamsicle, my friend’s first instinct was to give up his and just go without one. I asked him about it, and his response was something like this: “He’s new to the priesthood. I know it’s not all about treats, but I’d rather he have good experiences than bad ones when he’s here. It’s more important to me than simply enjoying it myself.” I’ve always remembered that, and have often thought about it.

    This is an odd story that seems unrelated, but I think in a way it’s exactly the same. Both you and my friend gave up personal comfort and pleasure in order to make an experience better for others. And being able to do that instinctively, without making oneself out to be a martyr, is a sign of Christlike love and charity. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Awesome story. I can’t wait to have grandkids to sacrifice myself for… Perhaps that will atone for my not sacrificing myself enough for my own kids when they were younger. During some key years I seemed more ready to sacrifice myself to work or church work than to them. In retrospect, I would have made a lot of choices differently.

  3. Paul, you are so right. How many of us on our deathbeds would wish we had spent more time at the office?

    Priorities seem to change with dramatic things, such as children or grandchildren. As children and teenagers, we were in the center of the universe. Hopefully we all learn we are not, but instead move others into the center.

  4. I love this story, thank you.

    I do have to admit that picturing you wiping out on the tube slide and then hobbling around on your broken toe for the sake of your grandchildren is a little funny in a feel-good sort of way. I can totally see why your wife was laughing.

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