In my life, I've prayed many prayers. I've prayed for guidance, health, wisdom, healing, and peace. I've prayed for answers to tough questions and for forgiveness. And since they were born, I have prayed that my children would be fortunate enough to spend time and make memories with their 102-year-old great-great-grandmother.
Let me tell you how great our God is.
When I announce that we are going to visit Kitty Grandma, my children jump up and down and squeal. They run to find a bag to pack with snacks to share with her and they choose a toy to show her, or they color her a picture. During our drive to her nursing home, they ponder where she is and what she's doing, and tell me how excited they are to spend time with her.
The love they have for her is something that I can't explain, but also something I understand thoroughly...because I feel the same exact way.
Despite my understanding of their feelings toward her, seeing their excitement made me curious. What was it about visiting a building full of the elderly that makes my four and two-year-old daughters so excited? I'm in my thirties. I fully comprehend how special having a great-great-grandmother is for them, while they don't. I've shared countless hours of deep and meaningful conversations with Kitty Grandma, and they've just shared Glutino pretzels, granola bars, dance moves, and some toys. How could they be so excited to see her, not understanding how truly special their time there is?
The answer is:
My children associate their great-great-grandmother with the single most important emotion.
The simplicity of this was embarrassingly obvious once I connected the dots, because I've associated her with that emotion for as long as I can remember. I realized that my initial confusion with their glee was rooted in disappointment. Although my prayers were simple (time and memories with her), I realized that I actually wanted much more for my children than that. I wanted them to know their great-great-grandmother as personally as I do; to know the ways she impacted lives of children when she worked for CPS; the way she has carried traditions down through multiple generations; her zeal for life and all it had to offer.
The truth is, they won't ever get to experience her the exact way I did. But they do get to experience her heart. And ultimately, that's what matters. Her heart and her love for all things is what makes her who she is, which leaves me with no reason to feel disappointed. Only grateful.
Since being home and witnessing all of these special moments between my children and their great-great-grandmother, my prayers have turned into praise. <3
The photographs above of my kids with their great-great-grandmother are heartwarming whether you're me, my husband, my kids, my great-grandmother, or someone I don't know who happens to be reading this. Why?
Because of the love that is thriving in each and every moment photographed. You can feel it, and it triggers something inside of you.
But that feeling you have in your heart when you see them doesn't have to be the end. Nor should it be.
The reason I do what I do isn't because I need extra spending money or because I like to take my family out to dinner. It's because, with all of my heart, I want you to see the love that exists in your life. And I want you to continue to see it, in a photo book or a collection of canvases on your wall, for the rest of your life...and then for your children to continue to see it for the rest of theirs.
Love is everything, and I would be honored to document yours.
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