It was John’s Birthday, and he planned to take a couple of the grandchildren, ages 10 and 11, fishing in a pond located in the middle of nowhere. “What if something happens to you?” I asked. John gave me a look—the one he uses when he thinks I am worrying needlessly. Still, he could prick his finger with a fish hook. I decided to postpone doing laundry and volunteered to go fishing with them.
At first John was upset I took so long gathering the few items I needed for a successful fishing trip. Bug spray, sun screen, lawn chairs, reading material, beverages, snacks, straw hat, sun glasses, sweat band, toilet paper… I knew he would thank me later in the event a need for any of the aforesaid items developed.
It was a great morning! The fish were biting, and fortunately, we didn’t need to use ALL the items I packed.
Thank you, God, for fun times with grandchildren.
“Grandpa and I, along with an assortment of aunts, uncles, moms, dads, and cousins of various ages, were staying in two cabins near a lake in the middle of the Midwest during our family vacation.
The grandchildren enjoyed swimming in the lake and playing on the man-made beach. One of their favorite activities was collecting small rocks found around the edge of the sand.
“I haven’t slept well the last couple of nights. I just couldn’t get comfortable,” my daughter said at breakfast on the third morning.
“Which bunk are you sleeping in?” my five-year-old granddaughter asked her aunt.
“The top one,” my daughter answered.
“Oh, that’s where I’m keeping my rocks from the beach. Did you see them? I put them under the sheet. They are really shiny and pretty,” the five-year-old answered. “It’s a real safe place.”
And it was, until that moment. My daughter slept much better that night.
“Mom, I’m okay,” the voice on the phone said. The skyscraper in a major city where my son worked was evacuated that beautiful, fall day. Each of my other children called home that day. I, too, called home to speak to my mother that day. My children and I felt a need to connect with family– to reassure each other we were okay.
Life in America changed on September 11. Throughout the day, I listened to the radio as there was no television in my office. As soon as I arrived home, I turned on the television, and it stayed on day and night for a week. These many years later, I still anxiously turn the news on early each morning, hoping no terrorist act has happened overnight.
Lord, be with those families who did not hear the words “Mom, I’m okay” on September 11.
Labor Day in past days signaled back-to-school time. My children are now grown, but I remember one particular first day of school. I was anxious to hear of the day’s activities for each family member at the evening’s dinner table. There would be much laughter, I was sure.
John told of his day first. Unfortunately, he had a bad day at work and started the conversation with a negative tone. My day was no better–one of my boss’s clients yelled at me instead of my boss. One child spoke of arriving late to her English class. Another one couldn’t get her locker open. One son had stepped in dog poop on the way into class. Clearly, the dinner conversation was not going as I had hoped.
“My day was the worst,” my youngest child said. “I forgot my hat, and I somehow got locked in the classroom closet when I went to get it during lunch recess. The playground monitor didn’t even miss me.”
It wasn’t our best family meal, nor was it my son’s best first day of school. Thank you, God, for family time.