They say people often forget the things you’ve said but they’ll always remember how you made them feel. Think back on some of your most treasured memories. If I were to guess, I’d say they’re of moments when you felt special. Accepted. Noticed. Loved. Usually, there’s a special person attached to the moment—an aunt who always baked you cookies, the teacher who saw the best in you, or maybe that best friend who could make you laugh no matter how dark your day.
I called him Grandpa George, and he and my grandmother lived on a farm in Eastern Washington. I loved visiting. I loved walking through the potato fields, dirt clumping between my bare toes. I loved walking along the quiet gravel road that led to the pond and gathering up all the tall, soft, and fuzzy cattails bordering it.
But most of all, I loved hanging out with my grandpa. He had this way about him, always a smile, always a corny joke. His favorite phrase: “I think you’re full of baloney.” And I probably was 99.89% of the time. And come afternoon, when his work for the day was done, he’d sit in his recliner, feet propped up, and promptly fall asleep, his snore filling the house and causing my siblings and I to fall into a fit of giggles.
I loved my grandpa, and I knew without a doubt that he loved me, but before long, he simply quit coming around. And we quit going to see him. I soon learned accusations had been made against him, and, like often happens in ugly divorces, people chose sides. It was like he’d been forgotten completely, although I remembered.
I didn’t see him again for quite some time, until one day, I had a little girl of my own, and I thought of him. I wondered if he was still around, and if so, if I’d be able to find him.
He was, and I did, and he promptly purchased a plane ticket to come to see me and meet my young family. And he was the same goofy, bologna-talking grandpa I remembered, full of smiles and laughter, and the occasional, house-rocking snore. He brought with him a jewelry box with my name engraved upon it. It was a graduation gift, and I couldn’t help but wonder if he’d been thinking of me and his other grandchildren as we grew, missing us.
He died a couple years later, and though I was sad, I was also incredibly grateful that I’d had the chance to reconnect. To let him know I hadn’t forgotten and those silly afternoons spent on his farm had meant something. They’d meant a lot, actually.
Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her teenage daughter and coffee dates with her handsome railroader husband.
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.
Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently on sale at Amazon for under $4 (print and kindle version)!
When Dawn Breaks
As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution propel her north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. However, he’s dealing with a potential conspiracy at work, one that could cost him everything, and Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. Then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?