Four days ago our guileless, radiant, precocious granddaughter, Gabby Anne came for a visit. Bright smile and outstretched arms made Papa's day (I was waiting in the driveway), "I love you Papa!" I'm not sure there's anything better.
Gabby is just past 3 1/2 and headed toward 4 (June 25), and is a remarkable bundle of enthusiastic joy, curiosity and love. No wonder people flock to her (our house has had a revolving door of family and friends anxious for an injection of joy from the child-like child).
Our house is strewn with markers, dolls, stuffed animals, sidewalk chalk, a scooter, helmet and various items of clothing...and we don't care! It is the aftermath of a love-fest; her loving us and us unable to do anything but patiently lavish love in return.
"I love you Papa, and I want to stay here forever!" Gabby's heart felt exultation brought tears. Why? Because her words sincerely flowed from her heart, and...because I know that there is no forever...in this life." Gabby seemed to realize this truth late this afternoon. After waking from a nap, she melted. My trained eye as a clinician sees her beginning to detach from us as she prepares to re-attach to her mother, father and her other set of grandparents. That's healthy, ultimately, but a contradiction to her optimistic "forever". And so the our little 'innocent' bundle of love and joy has already begun to experience the reality that there is no 'forever' in human time and space.
We somehow console ourselves with the hope of another visit and the ultimate 'forever' of eternity beyond our present reality, but still we wish she didn't have to go. It hurts to say goodbye.
Go if you must, Gabby. And go with God. He will never leave you or forsake you, and by trusting in His name, you will know a forever that is really forever. And we will see you there, and be with you there...forever!
Love, Papa and Grandma Jill
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