There is an adorable e-mail that goes around every so often about how 4-8 year olds responded when they said “What Does Love Mean?”
One of my favorites is this one:
“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.”
It reminds me of my friend who calls her grandmother every week, and every week her grandmother responds the same way, with a lilt in her voice and sheer joy that she is calling. What a gift to be received like that, to be celebrated each time you call. One of the many ways that grandparents make our lives better. So often now that the demands of life have transitioned and they no longer have the priorities that can so often get in the way it leads to the ultimate priority- sharing love. Speaking from my experience, I think the greatest gift that grandparents give is to love without reservation, to celebrate their grandkids as the most amazing thing since sliced bread, to give lots of hugs and provide a place of comfort and safety. It is my wish that everyone have that experience either from their biological grandparents or the ones that they have adopted in their heart.
When my parents were going to visit my grandpa in the hospital one day they took my niece who is “4 but almost 5” up to visit as well. She had made a Get Well Card for him and on the inside she had drawn this picture:
But what struck me about it wasn’t the picture- adorable and advanced beyond her years as it may be (as a doting aunt I am required to say such things ;)), what got to me was when I had asked her to explain it to me.
“This is me, and this,” she said sighing as she touched his picture lovingly she paused for a moment to look at me “this is great-grandpa” and with a silly little smile and his name safe in her mouth she said with every cell of her being what we as adults long to say but so often hold back.
To love, to hold another’s name safe in your mouth is perhaps the most important thing we can do for one another.