I was out of town last weekend, flying by myself on an airplane and finding my way through Houston International Airport for a connecting flight. I felt like a grown up and a child at the same time, navigating signs, regulations, and my own insecurity. I did it, a bit nervously, with purpose. I went to get my granddaughter who lives states away and bring her home to stay with us for a month.
And that is a gift.
She’s the eldest of my three wonderful grands, and the one who first made me a grandmother with that bursting wide open of my heart. I had no idea that love could just break me right apart as I scooped up this tiny being who would take the heart of me and change me forever.
Love does that. It transposes the song of life and we are never the same.
Love gaps us open, open for joy but also open for pain. Pain is often the price of loving deeply.
I’ve felt the contradicting emotions, the loving and the losing, the holding close and the giving up. The loss comes in different forms, whether by moving, misunderstanding, divorce, or death. It happens to all of us sooner or later.
But the risk of loosing is more than worth the joy of loving and being loved. “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” is so true.
The granddaughter and I flew home together, our heads bent in conversation, laughter, taking selfies (with a photo bomber), stories, tears, and hugs. She is a kindred spirit and we feel the connection deeply.
Her visit to our home is a gift Sweet William and I have longed for, prayed for, and now is here. The days are already passing too quickly, and I’m not counting them down. I am treasuring each one, pondering them, keeping the journey recorded in my heart.
Time is a gift. I realize it more and more as the years pass quickly. More than something expensive in a paper-wrapped box with a bow, time is the present I want. And time is the gift I want to give to her and give it with my full attention, being very present in our moments together.
We are such a distracted culture. Cell phones jangling in familiar micro songs, texts beeping for an instant response, emails filing our in-boxes, and a myriad of other things vying for our consideration. Our time. Our attention.
Time and presence are gifts. Giving my time and being fully there will show her she is loved, treasured, precious, cherished, and worth my attention.
She is the gift. And time is our gift. And God is the giver of it all.