– Monday Muse –
Dear One, some essays are more difficult to share than others, as this one happens to be, for it exposes my thoughtlessness. So, I will only promise to make my best attempt at relaying this one.
One summer afternoon following a rainy morning, spectacular bright clouds and sunshine were jostling with gloomy, forlorn ones. Nature was doing her best to brighten the mood. As I was attempting to snap a picture-perfect angle of the overhead transition, a car came out of the woods on the two-track behind our house. The narrow passage serves both as our driveway and access to a road which parallels the lake and runs the length of the woods.
I waved for I am a waver, and usually a wave results in a wave back, as this one did. The vehicle had gotten far enough down the drive that I knew the driver had had no intention of stopping at our home. But, at the end of the driveway, instead of turning left to exit, the driver turned right and slowly drove around the cul-de-sac to pull up in our driveway. The driver turned out to be one of our many grandchildren.
The grandchild parked, came into the house, and sat down in the living room. Our conversation was full, lighthearted and dotted with grins and laughter. And by repressing the downside, the fact that there had been no intention to stop by, the visit was the highlight of my day, or several days.
As I pull out this story of the unintended visit with the aid of needle nosed pliers, I remember a certain woman from the Bible. She is the one who said in Matthew 15:27, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” I finally have an emotional link to that verse. As unintentional as the visit was I happily licked up every morsel of it.
You might wonder why the need for needle nose pliers? They are sometimes required for deeply embedded regrets, regrets that have long ago led to repentance, and God’s forgiveness, but like sticky sap the memories of neglect are difficult to remove. For when I think about myself as a granddaughter of Will and Alta Kenyon (pictured above), I am filled with regret.
They lived close to my childhood home…theirs was the very next door. There was not a fence or obstacle of any kind between my home and theirs. I loved them both, but even though I loved them, once I got married, I seldom visited them. Every time I think of the number of times my husband and I drove by their place without stopping, I shudder with agonizing regret.
When our children were young, my husband and I would often visit my parents on the weekends. We would arrive on Friday evening and stay the weekend with all of our five lovely little ones, and leave late Sunday afternoon. Seldom, seldom did we wander across the lawn to say, “Hello,” to my beloved grandparents. I ignored them time and time again. Someone might be thinking, “with five kids they were probably glad of it.”
Now that I am a grandmother, and great-grandmother, I know that there is no truth in such a statement. I realize that I disappointed my grandparents every time I left town without even so much as a quick run-in to say that we had no time left for visiting. Of course, sometimes we visited, but certainly not often.
This thinking does two things for me. One, it makes me extremely remorseful. And two, it makes me realize that most grandchildren cannot comprehend how important they are to their grandparents. Therefore there are few thoughts of dropping by – just as it was with me.
Late in the day, after the impromptu visit, I was still licking my lips – grateful for every scrap. The same extremes of that afternoon’s contrasting sky mimicked my emotional range. I felt both bright and gloomy. However, if I looked at the situation from just the right angle through the viewfinder of much younger eyes, the picture developed just short of perfect. Click.
So, what is the life lesson for this Monday Muse? What do you think it should be? Love? I think so, above all love, love just as my grandparents loved. For it was love which prevailed every time we left town without visiting them, out of love they accepted my inattentiveness as unintentional. It was as if she could read my mind, oh no, we did it again. We didn’t run over to Grandma’s house. We will next time for sure.
“Love never fails. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:8a, 13 NKJV
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