Heidi and Keira came for a visit this week. They came to be a part of Holly’s bridal shower and while they were here little Keira just stole our hearts. Yesterday Heidi (who is carrying a little boy due in October) and Keira would leave to drive back around the Big Lake home. I took lunch to come home and say goodbye. Lois was taking Keira for a walk in the neighborhood when I returned. Little Keira didn’t want to stop. I don’t think Grandma did, either. She called hot dogs “meat dogs” and potato chips “chippies” and she is eager to dance with me whenever I want. She loves for me to “spin her around.” When I drove back to the office my heart just ached with love for them. They have a good and happy life over on the other side of Lake Michigan. Part of my heart is always there with Heidi and Keira and that little boy we will meet in the fall of the year.
I’m having a bowl of oats at a restaurant where Wes and I have often met before work this summer. He spent the summer working to earn enough money for a truck. Yesterday he relized his goal. I helped him as much as I could. In less then two weeks he will get in that truck and pack his things and drive away to school again. He will take my heart with him.
Holly has been with us for thirty wonderful years. It would be impossible to explain the joy she has brought to us. In mid-September the man we didn’t know but all prayed for for years will take her away with him and they will fly to Mexico for a honeymoon and then go to live in their house on the West Coast. A part of my heart will be in Oregon now every moment of every day.
When I preach on Sunday, I will often catch the eye of a beautiful young woman with dark eyes and dark hair listening carefully following my eyes. Her name is McBride now—Hannah. She was named Pierpont until a couple summers ago. We will often have Sunday dinner together. She and her husband Dale are continually and sweetly on my heart every moment of every day.
Out north of Howell about an hour northwest of here our oldest boy Kyle and his wife Elizabeth are making a home with three adorable, delightful little boys. I visited their new home a few weeks ago. My boy is bright and talented and handsome—He is full of life and hope and dreams and I really don’t know what all—but a part of my heart beats there in that home with those three delightful boys, their handsome Dad who was my little boy once and beautiful, thoughtful, sincere Elizabeth-whom I love like my very own daughter.
Out in New Mexico I follow a young lady’s Instagram posts—a beautiful young lady I have never met before. She is always smiling beautifully in the photos and she is always with a handsome, tall young man—our little Danny Boy—who is about 6 foot 3 now. He is working about 60 yours a week on oil pipelines out there this summer and met this beauty on a church campout. I’ve never met her. I’ve never spoken to her. I just look at her eyes in the pictures and wonder what is behind them. I listen to my son as he tells me about their times together and a part of my heart is present with them while the explore young love.
Every day in my town I run into someone who asks about our son, Chuk. “How is he doing? We sure miss him around here. Give him my love. When will he come back and sing at Evangel again? Can I get some of those candles again. I’m out of them.” He has moved to Grand Rapids and we talk on the phone every day. It’s not the same as hearing his jokes and his lively never-ending stream of ideas and dreams and hopes he used to share when we were at home in the family room of Granville Cottage. A part of my heart lives in an apartment in Grand Rapids.
Last night I walked through the church lobby and noticed a teen couple sitting there laughing and talking. It was our baby Hope America and a young man. He wants to take her to the fair this week. Every year I take Hope to the fair and as night falls we ride the Ferris Wheel. We have done it for years. Last night she said; “We can all go together.” I don’t think so. I think I’m going to let her and her friend enjoy the Ferris Wheel in the growing darkness over the fairground alone—but my heart will be there right with them—happy and aching.
Lois works late and comes to bed. We lie there in the night together, her head on my chest for a few minutes. We talk and pray. In those few quiet minutes before we are overtaken with sleep our four sons, four daughters, two sons-in-law and and our daughter-in-law, three grand buddies and one grand princess and a little bud of a child on the way are on our hearts. In September, after the wedding, we will go away together to the Ohio Amish Country to spend a few days in a little cottage in the village of Charm. We will be alone there for our 35th wedding anniversary, but our hearts will be scattered all over the place.
July 31, 2014