Sunday, September 22, 2013

While You Were Sleeping

Dearest Robin,

The call came from your mother at 5:20 this afternoon, that you were ready for our evening walk. I hurriedly put on my shoes, headed for the door and a minute later was greeted by you; fed, happy, and wearing a T-shirt inscribed with the message “I Love Grandpa”. You fussed at first as we set off with the stroller clanking over the rough street, but soon you fell asleep. We didn’t talk much but just being together was special. It was a quiet thoughtful moment in time.

As we moved along the sidewalks the clatter of the wheels hitting the cracks made a rhythmic sound, something like a heart beating. I imagined your little heart beating and sensed its importance, pumping a seemingly endless river of life through your tiny body.  The little heart on your shirt, the symbol of love, got me pondering its significance. Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eyes. A heart full of love sees the goodness in others, the joy of giving and the art of kindness. You see, my sweet Robin, love is the most excellent way to live.

It was a warm late summer evening. The sun was setting, casting long lingering shadows. I noticed a crabapple tree along the pathway burdened down with hundreds of apples and a field of grape vines strained by the weight of a sweet crop; a reminder of a God that loves us abundantly and provides for us in this wonderful world he has created.

As I looked across the field of grapes I could see a house transformed by its new owners.  It used   to be the home of my Great Uncle Lem and Great Aunt Edna. They were kind folks. Lem was always quick with a funny story while Edna quietly made her guests comfortable, by offering them treats and displaying genuine pleasure in seeing them.

A few minutes later we passed the home where our friends Johnny and Jo live. I remember them fussing over your mother at church when she was your age, sometimes smiling at your mom's cute ways, not showering her with expensive gifts but just being a kindly presence in her life.

Love is sometimes like the gentle evening breeze. You can’t see it but you can feel it. I don’t suppose I thought much about this when I was young, but as I get older I realize that these wonderful people and many others were teaching me and your mom about love. Their love surrounded us and made us warm inside. It gave us confidence to become what God wants us to be and it gave us the courage to love unconditionally. Their love taught us to live a more excellent way. As you grow, Robin, may you sense that there is a vast number of people who love you and may you flourish in that love.

Your shirt announces “I Love Grandpa“. My heart whispered,  “ I Love You Robin” while you were sleeping.

We’ll walk again soon.

Warmly with love, Grandpa.

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