Autumn

Autumn

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Just for Little Bit

It is with considerable difficulty I write this piece. Yet, it's time. Bare with me.

Allow me please to step back in time. Years ago I decided to carry a piece of silver in my pocket. Silver, in whatever form, has been my luck, always.

A few months back, early of a morning, as I went about the routine of pants rotation, as is a man's way, I removed all the bits and pieces from my trouser pockets. Off came the belt, out came the Benchmade, the Surefire, all the loose change, wallet, and well you get the picture. Among these items was my 1880 Morgan silver dollar. (Remember I recently mentioned it.)

For some odd reason I placed it on my bedside table where it was forgotten. I had set aside my luck. Sadly, too, my luck forgot about me. Perhaps my subconscious substituted my silly dependance upon luck to the vintage silver bracelet and Navajo ring I wear daily. Anyway my luck didn't hold. Shortly afterwards my heart was taken from our lives.

Late last year, a few days prior to Christmas, I was piddling in the bedroom in search for something or the other when I brushed aside a loose piece of paper and found my Morgan. I gave it a flip and absently returned the old coin to my pocket. My luck came home.

To those long time followers of this blog you well know my dear wife hasn't seen, nor heard, and certainly hasn't held our grandchildren in almost two years. I'll not repeat the details of how they were ripped from our lives. If you have half a heart you truly understand the sorrow and pain.

She's prayed. Hard. I'm certain her pattela has formed a deep hard callus.

I'll always give credit where due. Certainly our dear Lord heard her prayers but I'd like to believe my old shiny and worn coin, the token of my superstitious luck, played a small part of what I'm about to relate to you.

My lovely wife spent hours in the selection of Christmas gifts for grandchildren she was certain she'd never again visit or allowed her love's expression. Even denied the pleasure of personal delivery of these Christmas gifts she spent hours at our kitchen table and wrapped the boxes with love and care. Out of her sight I'd stand silent and watch as she carefully dressed each gift. Sadly her labor fueled my quiet anger.

As deeply as she felt personal hurt and pain I was the same but with anger.Time developed within me a cold heart of stone. Prayer seldom if ever escaped my lips. I was yin to my wife's yang. I wished to hurt. They, had taken my love, my Little Bit. They, had refused to allow us to know and love our grandson. Many an hour I had sat and caressed my chosen tool of punishment. Wisdom held. Patience is a virtue.

(I guess by now you understand why this is difficult for me, this glance into my soul.)

Then came the eve of Christmas.

She asked if I'd attend the candle light service at her church. Her request came tender with big sad eyes. She knows me well. I am not of her faith but I do respect and believe in Him.

Allow me please another step back. Without the grandchildren in our lives we had settled into a comfortable routine, our daily lives became fairly normal in their absence. As husband and wife our love and respect for each the other grew. When the calendar flipped to December we agreed, silently, to place a hold on Christmas festivities. For the first time since I'd left the service of my country I did not purchase nor decorate a Christmas tree. Outside lights were banned. It was business as normal. After all, other than the birth of our Lord, we had nothing to celebrate. They were absent.

The holidays were, for us, dark and filled with depression. Any hope of a surprise visit from grandchildren was completely out of the question. With this in mind and with my knowledge of her depression I agreed to attend the candle light service. The peace of it was welcomed, and I do tend towards periods of moodiness and to see her smile and laugh would surely dispel my dulled anger.

Along towards sunset on Christmas Eve we loaded the children's gifts. As I drove towards church she said we should wait until after the service to deliver the presents. I absently reached into my pocket and touched the old silver coin, and said, "Let's do it before the service." She agreed. Just like that....

Luck and prayer took hold.


If we'd arrived a minute later we'd have missed them. My son had just, seconds prior to our arrival, returned home from work. He stood in the middle of his driveway and his wife was bent at the back door of her car securing our grandson into his car seat. Our son put on a face not unfamiliar to a deer caught in the hunter's headlight. Sweet Wife asked, "Now what?"  

"Be still and wait," I said.

I stepped from our car and opened the rear and took a armload of gifts and turned towards him and said, "Merry Christmas." He stood gap-mouthed. Then, I glanced over and there sat my Little Bit. She was in the back seat of her step-mother's car. She'd twisted around with only her big brown eyes visible and waved frantically. I waved back.

Sweet Wife appeared at my side and to our surprise and shock our daughter-in-law (She, the one person responsible for all this turmoil.) approached and threw a hug on Sweet Wife. Tears streamed down her face. Then Sweet Wife's dam of sorrow broke and there stood two women in a hard hug and then I felt my heart wrap her arms around my waist. So long, it had been so very long.

Little Bit released me and went to her Nana and gave her grandmother the first hug and kiss either had had in almost two years. My son still had not said a word. He had not moved. Our daughter-in-law then gave permission for us to visit our grand-son, Sport Model. She reached and took us both in her arms, an embrace that so shocked me I didn't know how to react. Then she said, "It isn't right for a family to go so long without speaking to each other."

As Little Bit held my hand we walked to their car and bent to visit our grandson. The little fella looked at me and pointed towards my face. Sweet Wife gave him a kiss and hug and then he pointed at his shoes, turned to her, and spoke the very first word ever uttered in her presence....he said, "Spiderman."

Every second or two I'd bend and give Little Bit kisses. I whispered over and over how much we loved and missed her. She's grown tall and thin. She seemed to me a frail and tiny bundle yet her pretty brown eyes flickered with joy. My last words to her, "You are the light of my life," I pray she remembers.  

Then it was over. They too were to attend a candle light service at their church. Then came another shock. Just before we departed my son shook my hand, hugged me and said, "I'm sorry about all this, Dad."  I replied, "Me too."

I extended a welcome for a visit. Told him we'd be home all of Christmas day. They were invited anytime even if for just a few minutes. He smiled and said, "Maybe."

On our drive to the candle light service Sweet Wife repeated, over and over, "Thank you, Jesus, oh thank you." Her face was a study in tears and joy.

Later, the lights dimmed and hundreds of candles flickered, held high, and I smiled. It was beautiful.

They say God works in mysterious ways. I'm but a mere mortal man so my thoughts on the subject of His actions are not important and still a mystery to me. Perhaps it was my new found coin of luck, or the Good Lord himself, or a combination of both, either way a crack has appeared in the dam, and my wish is for this flaw to deepen and grow and allow our family once again unity, and love.

Until that day we wait. Since the eve of Christmas we haven't a word.

(I post this piece without the effort of edit. Please forgive me any mistakes.)

Stephen










 
 

47 comments:

  1. Stephen, I have waited patiently for this story to be told. I am glad that your luck and Sweet Wife's faith were rewarded. Hopefully, there will be a renewal of relations now. In the meantime, I suggest a special chain for that Morgen to hang around your neck so it doesn't get buried and lost again.

    P.S. You made me tear up at work. Dirty pool my friend. No warning or nothing.

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    1. Sorry, tears were not my intention. Thank you so very much, and yes, perhaps I will find a bracket for the coin. I'd never drill a hole in it.

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  2. My eyes are watering. Oh what a wonderful tale!

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  3. wow... the wind just kicked up a ton of dust in my office..through my eyes my computer looks like a window covered in the wash of rain....

    I'm very happy for you Sir.

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  4. Oh Stephen! This is wonderful news. Tears running down my face, I must say I'm with Sweet Wife -"Thank you Jesus!"
    Don't wait for them, my friend, pick up the phone.

    Blessings,
    Red

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    1. My dear lady, thank you very much. We'll call 'em. You need to write, we all miss you. Thanks, Sweet Lady.

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    1. Sorry, Bubba. I really didn't mean for the piece to be a tear jerker. Trust me, I had a hard time writing the account. Thanks, my friend.

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  6. They'll come around. I am truly glad you got to see the grandchildren and negotiations are looking up. I am sure you will have em both back visiting soon and often in no time. Camp Grandparents is always a fun time and a valuable resource no parent can turn down even if all other things are stressed.

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    1. Beautiful story, Stephen - it made me cry - but they were good tears. Of hope and maybe forgiveness. Funny how silver works, isn't it? xoxo

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    2. PP, my friend. I sure hope so but I'll not hold my breath. Thanks.

      Chickenmom, my dear friend, thank you. Yes, it is funny how silver paves a smooth path.

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  7. Stephen and Sweet Wife,

    Your post had me in tears, I'm very happy you both got to see your grand children. Give your son and wife time, they will come around.

    Sending hugs and love to you both
    Your Friend,
    Sandy

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    1. Thank you, Sweet Sandy. We accept the hugs with open arms. God bless.

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  8. Yep....brought tears to my eyes too...sitting here at work too, and now the C and the V keys seem like there might be ready to short out on the keyboard........

    that being said.....I TOLD YA SO.....

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    1. Yes you did, Warlock. The path is open. Thanks.

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  9. Christmas means so many things to each of us, but few don't think of family, peace and the willingness to understand God's patient way of leading us.

    Thanks for adding brightness to a dismal, cold day.

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    1. You're welcome, my good friend and thank you very much.

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  10. Your situation gives me hope our family situation may someday be better.

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    1. I hope so too, my good friend. I just spoke of it to my wife and she said she'll pray for your family hence forth. I'll rub my silver and when others turn away, I too shall silently pray. Thanks.

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  11. This is good to hear! Thank you for sharing! Maybe what you call luck is your prayer?

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    1. You know, sweet girl, I'll bet you're right....thanks.

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  12. Dear Lord, please hear the prayers offered here.

    God bless you guys. That is tough.

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    1. Thank you, David. God bless you too.

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  13. Thank you Jesus indeed! Our prayers will continue for your reunion!

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  14. I didn't realize my house was so dusty, tears always flow when I am in too much dust or cutting of onions. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. You are more than welcome, Rob. Thanks.

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  15. Oh, Stephen, (I write through my tears), I am so glad for you for that Christmas Eve meeting!! Words cannot say, after being here through all your and Sweet Wife's trauma two years ago, how my heart jumped to read your words! I so pray that the contact will continue. How wonderful you got to see your grandson also.

    Blessings to you and Sweet Wife.

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    1. It was a great few minutes in our lives....our grandson has changed greatly since last we met. Thank you, dear lady and blessings to you too.

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  16. Thank you for sharing this. I'm not certain of many things in this life, but I absolutely know that your beloved Little Bit will remember.

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    1. My pleasure, Ellen, and I hope she will remember. The routine of life can take its toll and we often worry she'll forget us. Thanks, dear lady.

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    1. Thanks, my good friend...it was indeed.

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  18. So glad to hear the news---Merry Christmas--Happy New Year--and looks like it is starting out to be a Good year. Sounds like healing is happening and they might just have learned a valuable lesson from it. In my prayers and glad you had your lucky piece with you! love ya

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    1. Thanks, Sweetheart....love you too.

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  19. Stephen, please forgive my late attendance to this party; yesterday was crazy here, and I spent little time on-line.

    This made my heart swell within me, and resulted in an overflow of gratitude to our Lord - and I am so profoundly happy for you and your dear wife.

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    1. I understand completely my friend. My business comes in 'rushes.' It's either full bore or wait and watch.

      Thank you. We rode a twenty-four hour high after our meeting.

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  20. Stephen, I'm happy to hear that things have taken a turn for the better. The grand kids know you still love them, and perhaps there has been a change of heart where it was needed. I hope your patience and faith are further rewarded, and soon.

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    1. Thanks, my good friend. So far our patience has held. It all in the good Lord's hands. Take care.

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  21. Stephen, I am sort of at a loss for words after reading your story. Suffice it to say that I hope this is the beginning of the healing process and things will return to normal, and the memories of this time of separation will fade away, replaced by new memories of a family together.
    Steve

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    1. So do I, Steve, and I hope it's very soon. Thanks, my friend.

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  22. Oh Stephen. I'm practically weeping. If you hadn't come knocking, Id have missed this beautiful, beyond heart-warming reunion. Thank you so much. It truly has made my day. Hugs from a now more cheerful and snowy northwest Ohio. Wishing your and your dear wife healing and happiness in the new year.

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    1. Thank you very much, Sweet Cathy....now don't be a stranger. God bless.

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