Sometimes circumstances arise that are outside of our control, driven by events that happen in other peoples’ lives. To an extent, the past eight years of my life have revolved around my granddaughter. She came into the world when my daughter was only seventeen. Although my daughter and the baby’s father talked about marriage, and tried to work toward that, they were both just too young and unable to rise to the challenges. Ultimately, the paternal grandparents became the baby’s guardians, and adopted her when she was three years old. Her dad eventually married and has two other children, and her mother now lives in New Mexico. In spite of these difficulties, the extended family has been blessed by this bright, personable and talented little girl. She seems to have inherited my love for music, and has a pretty good ear even at eight years old. She has a compassionate heart toward others and loves Jesus.
Both of the paternal grandparents were employed in the construction industry, and when the economic slump hit Arizona they both lost very good jobs. As months turned into years and it began to look like economic recovery was not coming any time soon, they decided to move to Missouri to be near family and return to a simpler lifestyle. Because of all the details involved in getting out of a house that is now worth about half what they paid for it, and making arrangements to find a new home in Missouri, it’s been a long process for them. My stress over this whole thing is minimal compared to theirs.
Knowing that this precious little girl was going to be moving away from me has been difficult. For the past eight months or so I’ve been sitting with her during violin lessons and dreaming of a day when we can play together. She frequently spent weekends with our side of the family. We took a few trips to Carlsbad to visit her mother. This summer has found me lethargic and dreading the inevitable.
However, God in His infinite mercy timed their leaving Phoenix with my attendance at the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. He has reminded me that He is with me, that He will see me through this time. He arranged it so they would leave while I was surrounded by my brothers and sisters in Christ at NQC, inundated with great music and completely removed from this sad turn of events. My mother, her sister and my first cousin were also with me all that week, which was another blessing. We visited family in Indiana before going to Louisville, and I experienced a homecoming feeling that put ideas in my mind about the future. Perhaps forty-three years in the desert is long enough?
I don’t often get to see wide rivers, green trees and grass. It was a blessing to be surrounded by the landscape, with just a hint of the leaves changing color. Again I am reminded of the changing seasons in life, and the richness of God’s love and grace. As this next season in life approaches, I seek His guidance and depend more than ever on His presence in my life.