On the last day of school, in 4th grade, my Mom came to get me … alone. During the drive home she explained to me – in the best words she could find – that we would be moving … again. But, this move would be different than before … because we would be leaving my Father behind.
She went on to explain about ‘two people’ and ‘love’ but my attention span had been spent at that point. I still remember the visual scenes as we drove the familiar path. Time stood still for me as a little girl.
She explained our plans to visit my Grandparents in Texas. That shed a new light on things for me. Her parents and their house full of kids (Mom was an older child in a large family) were my favorite people! The idea of seeing our relatives in Texas was overwhelming, in a good way. The thought of leaving my Dad … well, I had no frame of reference for that information. I felt pulled. I had to conclude that if Mom felt it was alright – then I should, as well.
In short order we left Arizona on a BUS for Texas. The bus ride was long and an adventure I still recall. The smells, sounds, sights and feelings were healing balm for my uncertain soul. In those days bus rides were more elegant than now, more like a train ride is today. I’ve always been one for an adventure – this might explain our family size. 🙂
As we exited the bus in … Timbuktu … my Grandfather’s face is the first thing I saw. I loved this man. He was stable and kind. I would spend the summer in his home and learn of his ways.
One of my Grandfather’s ‘ways’ – was church. If we were in his home – we went to church, every Sunday. It was in these summer services that I heard the gospel – week by week. As the sting of being without my Father would settle in, the comfort of knowing my Heavenly Father would settle in, as well.
My Grandfather led the music at church and I loved it when he sang. He wasn’t a performer, but a worshipper. We’d sing at home and stop everything when he took out the guitar. When we sang, ‘I come to the Garden’ and ‘Just as I Am’, in my young mind, I translated the ‘I’ in the songs = ‘me’ in my pew. During this summer, faith was birthed in my heart and I was ruined for the ordinary, because I knew – that I knew – the love of an Almighty God who saved me and was watching over … even me.
Why should I feel discouraged,
Why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely
And long for Heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion?
My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.
I’m continuing my story with Mommy’s Piggy Tales.