It was the kind of night she preferred. There was no moon to steal the shine from the stars and the air had just the right touch of coolness. The cricket’s love songs soothed her ears, a relief from the chaotic routine in the house. She didn’t mind sitting in the front yard by herself counting the planes that slid through the black sheet of the night sky. She was lost in her thoughts wondering where the eighth plane she had counted was destined.
“Abuelita, what are you looking at?”
Her granddaughter had noticed her sitting alone and had decided to submerse herself in the summer night with her grandmother.
“Oh, I’m just counting the planes that go by”, abuelita replied in a sleepy voice.
“How many have you counted tonight?”
“Only eight so far…grab a chair and sit next to me Adeliz.”
Her granddaughter dutifully pulled out a chair and placed it next to the small, dark silhouette of her grandmother.
Abuelita turned to look at her and she was almost certain her granddaughter was going to ask her to paint part of the history of her life that night. Adeliz always had an appetite for the old stories of Mexico.
“Abuelita, do you think counting planes is fun?” Adeliz wasn’t too sure about her grandmother’s choice for the evening.
“Well…I don’t really enjoy the counting as much as I do imagining where the people on the planes are going.”
Adeliz’s face crinkled up wondering how in the world that could possibly be any fun.
“Well, I was thinking that maybe an old woman like me was on her way to visit someone she hasn’t seen in a long time.”
Abuelita looked up at the obscure night and her yellow-green eyes twinkled with sorrow.
“Who would you visit abuelita, if you had the chance?”
Abuelita’s response was not at all what Adeliz had expected.
“Huh…did I just hear you say, ‘myself’?”
Abuelita faced her granddaughter and gave her an understanding smile.
“Yes…I wish I could…I could take a time traveling flight and go back in time, back when I was young and tell myself not to worry.”
Adeliz wanted to understand her grandmother and she anticipated every word.
“As you know, your grandfather left me for another woman and started a new family with her. I spent a lot of my life angry and bitter and I couldn’t enjoy life.”
Adeliz’s teenage mind accepted her grandmother’s bitterness as just.
“Well, I think you had every right to be angry. That was pretty messed up – my grandpa leaving you with all the kids.”
“Yes, well - it was ‘pretty messed’ up as you kids say, but that did not give me the right to be bitter.”
Adeliz’s soft brown eyes narrowed, focused on her grandmother, waiting to receive wisdom.
“You see Adeliz, bad things happen in this world all of the time. It’s how we react that makes all the difference.”
“What do you mean, abuelita?”
Abuelita reached over and grabbed her granddaughter’s hand.
“What I’m trying to tell you is that if you hold on to every horrible thing that you go through in life, you’re going to miss out on the blessings of the future.”
The perplexed look on Adeliz’s face told her grandmother she needed to continue explaining.
“Before I came to Christ, I carried all the hurt and bitterness on my shoulders. All my grudges wouldn’t let me feel any true happiness. After Jesus accepted me, I was able to forgive your grandfather. From then on I let Him handle the problems of my life.”
Adeliz was starting to comprehend the lesson.
“So…you had to forgive grandpa to be happy?”
Abuelita’s heart was rejoicing and she smiled from ear to ear.
“Si mija…learning to forgive is very important. We also have to remember that everything happens for a reason. Just think, if I had not met your grandfather, I wouldn’t have the privilege of having such a wonderful granddaughter.”
Adeliz gave a shy smile and stood up to give her grandmother a warm embrace.
They both sat in their chairs, looking up at the summer night sky, happy to be in each other’s presence. A welcoming, cool breeze flowed over them, as the ninth plane made its way through the night.
“I wonder where plane number nine will take us, abuelita?”
Abuelita gave a sigh, “only the Lord knows…only the Lord knows.”
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