It was about ten days ago that our family came home for a few days — and even though some were here at one time and some at another, we did have some time when EVERYONE was here at once, and that was sweet.
By Saturday noon, everyone was gone. Rach and Rob had helped to put down the table and set furniture right before they left, and it was looking a bit more like our home. I listened to the sounds of the empty house and my heart was full. When these offspringin’s come home with the grandchildren, life rips along at an unbelievable pace, and I hardly have time to savor the moments like I would like. There are meals to make and laundry to do and one (or a dozen) more thing that just needs picking up or putting away. I love to hold babies, talk to the older grandchildren, Listen in on the conversations of our adult children and their loved ones, plan special events, etc., but the events leading up to this year’s family time made it impossible for me to think in terms of what I should I do, how I could make things extra special, and what were they really interested in?
We had a great time. They took in the beach, made pots of coffee, swam in a neighbor’s pool, were here for the picnic and the days flew by. The last evening, when Lem and Jess were looking to head down to Ocean City to spend time with her parents, we decided to order pizza in instead of going to Grotto’s in our usual manner. That was a whole lot less hectic for our last night together. Strangely enough, it was a whole lot better atmosphere around our big dining room table. There are 17 of us these days, and with one or the other of the babies in a high chair, we still fit around that old table that Ralph Yutzy made for his family 50 some years ago.
And then, before I could really assimilate it, they were gone. All of them. The Sugarcreek Yutzys, the DC Yutzys, the Ambleside Cottage Maiden, and the Bontragers from the Big House on Shawnee Road — all disappeared into the hot Saturday sun and left us in the old farmhouse at Shady Acres.
As the hours passed and became days, the ache in my heart grew and grew. For one thing, having everyone home reminds me of how much I love these grownup offspringin’s and the people they have brought into our family, and those Grandchildren! They fill in spaces in my heart that I didn’t even know I had. Along with realizing how much I love all of them, I also realize that I have so many dreams for them, prayers yet unanswered and concern for the world in which our grandchildren are growing up. So many things so wrong, and so little hope for righting the mess, and the imagination of this Delaware Grammy sometimes runs wild, as I think of my beloved children and grandchildren.
One afternoon this week, I was doing something in Linda’s room. Charis was here and hanging out with my tablet in the kitchen. I was thinking about all the events of the past week, words I’d overheard that I really wish I hadn’t. I was praying much for Rachel, subpoenaed to court in a distasteful custody proceeding that was so intense it was making her physically ill. The proceeding, drug out by cross examining of a different witness, had gone long – and she hadn’t been called to testify. She was mandated back the next day, Friday, her day off, Rob’s birthday, and a host of plans for the day went slithering down the tube. I knew it wasn’t mine to worry about, and I brought it to the foot of the Cross, but my heart ached for my girlie, and for her state of discomfiture over this proceeding. How I wished that she could just lay it down and not worry so much. So this Delaware Grammy was mulling all this over in her head, and I just. felt. so. sad.
And then, a song began to make its way into my head. I had heard it several times already, but it suddenly impressed itself on my brain enough that I stopped and listened. It was a YouTube production, and it was well done, but over the well played strains of music, I heard the clear high voice of a child, singing every word along with Youtube, hitting every note, tone on. I listened and then I followed my heart to the kitchen. Charis stopped, mid note, and looked up, embarrassed.
“Were you singing along with that song?” I asked her. She nodded shyly. “That’s beautiful, Charis. Who taught you that song?”
“Daddy,” she said quietly, proudly.
Daddy. My heart was instantly alive with delight. “Oh my Charis, Darling! That’s wonderful! Will you sing it for me again?”
She ducked her head, embarrassed. She wasn’t willing to sing it right then. But that was okay. Hearing the voice of my granddaughter, singing a song that she learned from her Daddy on this dark, discouraging day was like a special voice mail of Hope from my Heavenly Father.
Several days later, we got to talking and had a sweet, sweet time together. I told her what her song had meant to me – how it felt like a gift to me from God and that I was so thankful for it. She listened carefully, and then, when I asked her if she would sing it again, she agreed. Of course, I got a video clip of it to remind me of that special gift. It won’t mean as much to anyone else as it does to me, I am sure, but it makes my heart give grateful praise, and it just may bless someone else as well.