Kneeling before Him...
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Thursday, April 29, 2004
The man walked alongside his mother down the beautiful tree lined path. They walked in comfortable silence, each filled with their own thoughts that neither felt the need to share. A gentle breeze sang through the spring leaves on the trees as their footsteps and the sound of his grandfather's stick provided the base beat to the gentle song.
He thought of a time years before when he had walked this path with his grandfather, a man quick of wit and as sharp as men half his age. The younger man had listened in awe as the stories poured from his grandfather with a natural ease that few possess. They had talked of many things and many tales were told on their afternoon walks. He had favourites that he had asked his grandfather to tell him again and again and even now he could almost repeat them word for word. Even so, the walk he remembered with the most clarity was one where the words were never repeated, but the man had carried them in his heart always.
He had only been young, more a boy than a man but his heart had been heavy with the hurt of an unrequited love. He had walked with his grandfather and spilled all he was feeling and he had felt silly at voicing such emotions to another man. His grandfather had listened silently, nodding to let the boy know his attention was with him and the older man had waited until the boy ran himself dry of all the hurt he was feeling.
When he had fallen silent his grandfather had laid his hand on the young man's shoulder. He remembered the exact words that his grandfather spoke.
'One day, you will notice a girl waiting beside you. She may not be the prettiest of the girls you have dated and she may not be the smartest, but there will be something about her that makes you want to look to her again. And if you are one of the lucky ones and you allow yourself to know her, she will surprise you with the person that she is. She will be the type of girl who wants to dance when there is no music and play outside when it starts to rain. She will cry at happy endings and fall in love with the heroes in books. She will feel safe in your arms and gurgle in contentment when she has pleased you. She will love you intensely and if you are smart enough to let her, she will give you everything she has to give. When you have been loved like that, even if you part, you wont need to feel this sadness because you will carry this love always, in your heart.'
The young man had stopped walking and turned to face his grandfather. 'You were loved like this?'
His grandfather's face lit up at the mention of his wife, the love he felt for her obvious.
He prodded his grandson's foot with his stick. 'Never you mind who. That's none of your business,' he laughed. 'All you need to know is that I gave some of that love to your father, and he gave some of it to your mother, and we all gave it to you. There will come a time when you will have a chance to share it with someone too. Don't waste it. Hold her with both arms and love her for all she is worth.'
He had thought his grandfather didn't understand, but he had held his tongue and over time the hurt of the love gone wrong had faded away. One day he had noticed a girl beside him and he allowed himself get to know her and he remembered his grandfather's words and he had finally understood what the older man had meant.
He smiled now as he thought of his wife and their newborn son and how much love they shared. He realised his mother had spoken and he blinked at her in surprise.
'You were miles away. What were you thinking?'
The man smiled. 'I was thinking of grandad and how much I would have liked my son to have known him.'
'Gosh,' she said surprised. 'I see your grandfather in both your father and you everyday. Your son will know him, because you will pass on what he gave you. That's what family is about.'
The man thought about this a moment. 'You know mum, wouldn't it be nice, if one day, when I am gone, my grandson took my stick for a walk.'
His mother smiled at the wonderful intimacy in that statement. She stayed quiet but she hoped that he remembered to mention it to his wife later on.
The man glanced at his watch. 'Oh mum, we have to hurry back or we will miss the kick off. Was there enough roast leftover for a sandwich? I am starving.'
His mother laughed.
'What?' he said, puzzled.
'Nothing,' she replied still giggling as she slid her arm through his. 'If you are lucky, your father has left you something. I would expect he has already made himself a sandwich or two to eat before the game.'
Her son pondered this for a moment. 'That's ok,' he said. 'If dad has made two, I will just steal one of his.'
She smiled to herself, imagining the uproar that would cause.
She loved the men in her life with everything she had to give.