“Callie Grace” he called.
“Come here sweetie. Look what I have.”
Five-year-old Callie rounded the corner with a grin on her face and her eyes dancing as she peered at her grandpa’s hands, cupped in front of him.
She knew the tricks he liked to play over and over again.
She smiled at him and shyly approached on tiptoe, trying to see without getting close enough to get caught in his snare.
“What is it this time, Gramps?”
Grampa’s hand wiggled, as if they contained a magical surprise.
“You gotta come closer so I don’t drop it.”
She took one more hesitant step, and Gramps leaned forward in one fell swoop and scooped her up into his arms. The tickling began in earnest. Callie laughed, giggled and begged for Gramps to stop.
When they both had enough Gramps settled her on his lap.
“Who’s my favorite Callie Grace in the whole world?”
“Who’s beautiful inside and out”?
“I am, right Gramps”?
“You betcha, my darling”.
“Who loves you the most Callie?”
“Who loves you the most next?”
“You do Gramps.”
With that, the game was over and hug around the neck sealed the deal. She bounced off his lap and back to what she was doing.
As he watched the back of her pigtails bouncing out the door he closed his eyes remembering the years when he’d been a young father and his own daughter was Callie’s age.
Oh how he wished he could go back and fix the mistakes he made. He thought creating a good income was how to be a good dad. Money could buy a lot of things. Back then he thought it could buy happiness and joy.
When he’d come home late at night and looked in at his little girl sleeping, he consoled himself by promising that one day he would make it up to her for the time he wasn’t spending with her now. They would that special vacation, and extra Christmas and birthday presents would fill the day-to-day void.
But days turned into months, and months turned into years.
He signed, regret filling his heart. But what’s done was done. He couldn’t go back.
He would be sure Callie Grace would have a different history than her mama.
Just then Susan round the corner with a dish towel in her hand.
“Dinner’s ready, Dad.”
He smiled as he pulled himself from the recliner in his daughter’s family room.
He thought to himself. Nope, he can’t go back and correct history but he surely could keep history from repeating itself and plan for a better future.
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