The snow was blurring the road as Janice drove toward home. She felt weary. A heavy sadness was threatening to overtake her. Aware of the feeling, she gave herself a shake, straightened up in the driver’s seat, and gripped the steering wheel a bit tighter. She took a deep breath, and decided it was time for some music rather than the Christian talk radio she had been half-listening to. When she had pushed the buttons a few times, and nothing struck her fancy, she decided to put in that tape her daughter had sent her last week.
Holding the wheel in her left hand, she took off her right glove to feel in her overcrowded purse for the tape she was sure she had thrown in there about a week ago. At the time it had arrived she hadn’t wanted to think about her daughter. In fact, she had been avoiding her for over a week, and she was beginning to feel guilty. She remembered so clearly her rude and thoughtless remark. Every time she remembered, she cringed inside and her stomach did a tumble. She had not meant to pass judgment on her son-in-law. Her words had been unkind, and just as they had popped out of her mouth, her son-in-law had walked in the door and it was time for Janice to leave for the airport. All the way home that day she had wanted to call and make things right, yet she didn’t do it. Then her busy life took over, and she pushed away her guilty thoughts. Yet right now as she had about another hour of driving through a snowstorm, she told herself to stop being stubborn, pull out that tape, and listen.
Expecting the tape to have music or some type of self help seminar, Janice was surprised to hear her granddaughter’s voice singing a nursery rhyme. It was adorable, and brought a smile to Janice’s face, and a lightening to her heart. Then she heard a lovely piano interlude and a bit of giggling. Then there was static and Janice was just about to press the eject button when she heard her daughter and granddaughter recite a poem about kindness and love. The poem ended with:
We know it’s the truth, and we love to say it
But maybe the best thing to do is to pray it.
And then she heard her daughter Shelly say:
“And now Lilah and mommy are going to list some of the things we love about gramma.
One, she is funny
Two, she is silly
Three, she loves chocolate, and so do we.
Four, she is generous.
Five, she makes great chicken soup.
Six, she helps us when we need her.
Seven, she gives the best hugs in the world.”
Crackling silence again. And then her daughter Shelly’s voice saying, “Hey mom…sorry for the change of pace and not my usual tape of news and notes, but Lilah and I simply wanted you to know how much we love you. So that is our message in this tape. John, Lilah and I all love you very much! We can’t wait until your next visit!”
Then the crackling noise was back for good, and Janice knew it was time to push the eject button. And when she did, the much-too-loud blare of the talk show host came on to say,
“Now stay tuned for our round table discussion on Christian Family Life. Don’t go away.! We’ll be back in a minute.”
Janice turned off the radio with a lopsided grin on her face. The silence was relaxing.
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