Dirty-Faced Angels

I’ve always admired my Dad’s way with words. He has a gift, and recently he used it to pen thoughts about Camille and her cousins. Thoughts from a grandparent about his grandchildren, but thoughts treasured by his daughter as well. Now let’s get all mushy together.

From his newsletter column, Wilder’s Words:

Camille, Stella and Jane. Few names bring a smile to my face more quickly than these. Camille, Stella and Jane are dirty-faced angels who just happen to be my three granddaughters. Over the past few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of spending quality time with all three. So if my steps seem quicker and my smile seems brighter you know the reason why.

I envy those of you who live near your grandchildren. Camille lives in Savannah. Stella and Jane live in Tulsa. Thankfully, we see all three girls throughout the year but we never see them enough. Seeing all three in one month’s span has been a benediction, a gift of grace divine.

Why are my grandchildren so special to me? I could list a hundred reasons but, lest you become weary of my words, I will limit myself to two. First, my grandchildren give me the opportunity to experience my world through the eyes of their naïve wonder. They remind me how giddy one can get when standing in the spray of cascading water. The sparkle in their smiles entices me to get caught up in the wonder of a buzzing bee or in the uncommon taste of honey. Through eyes undimmed by worry and obligation they help me see the glory of a budding flower and grant me the freedom to stare with rapt amazement at the artistic wonder of a floating cloud. When I am with them the world glows with a hue of incandescent wonder and things mundane shimmer in the light of adventurous eyes.

Why are my grandchildren so special to me? For those of us who can see – even faintly – the horizon of life’s setting sun, grandchildren hold out the hope of future significance. Sometimes, when I hear my granddaughters laugh I hear the echo of my own laughter. In their mischievous smiles I see a fun-loving spirit not foreign to my own. Sometimes when they speak I hear the nuance of my words. When they walk, their stride bares a faint semblance to my stride and when they hold my hand I sense a kinship that surpasses mere genetics, a closeness kindled by nothing less than the spark of innocent love. Death may mute my voice but it will not silence my laughter nor will my final breath mark the end of my earthly significance. Through my granddaughters, a part of me will go on; wrapped in the memory of days we shared together, held for perpetuity in the arms of their love.

Perhaps you feel that the babbling of this aging grandfather has been a waste of your time. If so, I offer no apology but a blessing. May you, too, be blessed with thoughts that surpass the wisdom of your years and feelings that run deeper than life itself, and may the joys that ride fresh upon the wings of dirty-faced angels find comfortable lodging in the corners of your heart. Then, too, you will happen upon your benediction and discover the joys of grace divine.

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