When we were dating, my guy’s grandmother lived with his family. The woman was well into her 90’s and had Alzheimer’s, often showing signs of confusion, but one thing was certain; she loved her grandson. He could walk into the room and Grandma would light up from eyes to feet, overjoyed to see him. If he sat down beside her, she would giggle like a teenager. I saw something similar as a child with my own grandmother, who would cheer as our family drove into her driveway, ready to celebrate the simple fact that we had arrived.
This last school year, on most afternoons it was my job to pick up our youngest daughter at the end of her day. I would show up early and wait for her, scanning the students as they flooded out of the building. I watched for my girl because I like to see who she is talking with and walking alongside, and to catch her eye as she is making her way to our car. Each day I watched to make eye contact and smile, and you know what? 100% of the time she looked back and returned my smile. It took me a long time to realize that she expects this little exchange, and so do I.
Can you imagine someone being made so happy, just by your presence? Is it really so hard to show this kind of love? The answer is yes, it is difficult because there are days when I may be distracted or irritated, or just not in the mood to give a gift that hasn’t been earned. But it’s not about me. It’s about us, our connection. If she can trust that I will be there each day, genuinely happy to see her, she is more likely to trust me with her heart and the matters of her world.
My guy’s grandma? She’s the one who introduced him to Christ. I like to think that her connection with him had something to do with it.
I can’t make my face light up for everybody as they enter the room, but I can do it for those closest to me. We have a choice in this life to show others how we really feel about them, or to hide it and assume that they know. I don’t want my people to ever feel like they are a burden or a bother to me, and I want them to believe that my world is a better place because they are in in it. If I can convey this to them in the way that our eyes connect and in the first few words of the conversation, then I’m going to do it. Having a reputation for being that crazy Grandma who loved her family from eyes to feet would be a great compliment someday, I think.