Every Christmas my grandmother and I followed our own tradition of sitting on her front porch, sipping her homemade ginger tea, and talking. She’d tell me stories about her exploits as a child, like skipping school with friends to go swimming.
And I’d share with her secrets I’d never told anyone, like having a crush on Bobby Simpkins, the cutest boy in school. But sometimes I’d tell her serious things like missing my father who’d passed away.
No matter what I said to Gran she’d always listen. Then she’d tell me to trust in the Lord with everything. “Pray and ask Him for what you need.”
Years later, I stood in front of the rack of greeting cards at a local drugstore looking for a Christmas card to send to my grandmother, and feeling guilty because I couldn’t be with her that year. I was in university and stayed on campus to study for upcoming exams.
I sent the card to Gran early, along with her Christmas present, to avoid delays in shipment. And I smiled thinking she would enjoy the wool-knit sweater I got her for the winter months.
The mood in the dormitory was festive. And those like me who hadn’t gone home for the holidays had made plans with friends. And the flurry through the halls made it hard to concentrate on biology and physics.
My boyfriend Daniel poked his head through my doorway. “How can you study with all this noise?”
I shrugged smiling. “I’m pretending.”
He moved easily through the cramped room and kissed me on the cheek before plopping down on a chair. “You okay,” he asked leaning forward with his elbows cushioned above his knees.
“I’m just thinking about my grandmother.” I sighed and envisioned Gran sitting in the front porch drinking ginger tea alone. “I should’ve gone home to be with her for Christmas.”
“So why don’t you,” Daniel said.
“Can you come with me?”
He smiled, his bold black eyes dancing. “Let’s go.”
We embarked upon the 300 mile journey to my grandmother’s house. And I anticipated Gran’s shock at seeing us. Now I tried to enjoy the ride. I put down the car window and closed my eyes, feeling the wind caressing my face.
“Gran,” I called out as soon as we arrived. “Gran, where are you?” I rummaged through the house and into the backyard with Daniel following closely behind. But there was no sign of my grandmother anywhere.
“Where is she?” My face contorted into a grimace. “Where is my grandmother?”
Daniel placed his hands on his hips and looked about him. The house was lived in but orderly just as Gran liked it. My favorite area was the cozy living room with its sunken couch and slightly stained loveseat.
“Maybe we should call the cops.” Daniel moved to pick up the phone sitting on the side table in the living room.
I left him to the task and wandered out to the front porch, certain something bad had happened to my grandmother. I sat in her wicker chair and stared into the distance. Why had I left her alone for Christmas? Tears spilled from my eyes.
Daniel emerged from the house and sat beside me, putting his arm across my shoulder. “They said we should call the local hospitals,” he said soberly.
I didn’t respond, only moaning quietly as the tears continued to flow. Then suddenly I spotted someone sauntering up the walkway. I stood and my mouth dropped. Gran was slowly moving toward us and I rushed out to meet her, nearly tackling her to the ground.
“Where were you?” I said hungrily peering into her face. “What happened to you?”
“I’m okay.” She touched my face and smiled. “I was with Madame Gabriel across the street. I wanted to show her my new sweater and the wonderful card my granddaughter sent me.”
She pulled out the red and white card. “I wanted her to read the card for me because I can hardly see anymore.” Then Gran looked passed me seeing Daniel for the first time. “Is this the Daniel you were telling me about?”
I nodded and blushed while Daniel came from behind me to officially greet Gran with a hug and kiss.
“Come, Dear.” She took hold of Daniel’s hand. “I will show you the card my granddaughter gave me.”
I smiled thanking God for joy and not pain.
“All Glory be to God.”
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