My parents had three children and much to the dismay of my dad, all three of us were girls. Now I have no doubt dad loved all three of us girls, however he was no different from any other man of his generation in that he wanted a son . Each of my mom's pregnancies ushered in a new found sense of hope for dad that the next newborn baby to be laid in his arms would in fact be one of the male species. Sadly dad never did get his son and after the delivery of his third daughter he told mom he had officially waved the white flag and was content with his three girls. So for many years dad hid away in his heart all the unrealized plans and adventures he had dreamed of sharing with a son of his own, however the flood gates opened up the day my sister announced she was having a baby.
And not just any baby mind you, his first grandchild was going to be a boy!
The moment they laid his brand new grandson in my dad's arms, he fell head over heels in love with him. When he looked into the eyes of that sweet little baby, his heart swelled with pride and he looked forward to every adventure and moment they would share. From the beginning dad never got to spend nearly as much time with his new grandson as he wanted with visits being fairly few and far between. My sister blamed it on the hour's drive that separated them, but the reality was at the time it was not important to her for her son to spend time with her family and benefit from the love and attention they would lavish on him. But unlike the rest of us, dad didn't think about the visits they didn't have he just made the most of the visits and the time they had together. And what a good grandpa he was.
Along about the time my nephew turned three, dad got it into his mind to make him a little log cabin to play. My parents had an old doll house in their basement and he loved playing with it and dad decided to make him a little boy version. Dad was no stranger to making beautiful things out of wood and he cut no corners nor spared any expense taking a project from his mind and bringing it to reality. So he made his plans, collected his materials and the ground was broken on the construction of the cabin. Night after night for months dad would head downstairs where his workshop was located and work on the cabin. Finally the day came when the cabin was done and as he looked at it and assessed his work, he decided it still needed something. That's when he decided to make indoor and outdoor furniture and went out and bought appliances and the rest of the items required to outfit the house. Oh it was a thing of beauty when he was done and he couldn't wait to gift it and see what his grandson thought it.
Needless to say my nephew loved his cabin and to a little boy it was larger than life. He wasted no time getting to the business of playing with his new house and would not have stopped had it not been time for him to go home. Dad was tickled knowing that he had been able to bring such happiness to the little boy he loved so much and it was his earnest hope that he would keep it with him always and one day pass it down to his own little boy and tell him share the cabin's history. But what dad didn't know was that day was the only time the cabin was played with and enjoyed the way in which he intended. My sister put the cabin up on a shelf where it sat as decoration out of the hands of a child who might damage it during play. She said one day she would allow it to be played with again, however one day never came.
Then about twelve years ago my sister and I were talking on the phone and she happened to mention she was having a garage sale and was going to sell the little log cabin for forty dollars. I almost cried when she told me, but thankfully she did tell me because it gave me the opportunity to keep it from falling into the hands of a stranger who would not appreciate it's full meaning. I wanted to ask her if she had any idea how much time and love went into the cabin? Did she not think one day my nephew would want it for his children? There were a lot of things I wanted to say, however I knew enough to keep my thoughts to myself. She asked me if I wanted the cabin and I don't suppose I need to tell you I said yes.
The little cabin sits atop a boot box Jackie made for me at the entrance of our house. I always keep a little light burning inside of the little cabin for my dad. Whenever I look at the cabin, which I do often, I think of dad and how much I miss him. And after all these years it still breaks my heart to think how much love he put into making it for the little boy who in dad's eyes hung the moon. And what is even more tragic is that my nephew will never know. But that's how it is when we choose to hang on to anger and bitterness and not let go of silly things that happened in the past. Because we choose to wallow in self pity and anger, we loose the clarity necessary to remember the way things really were, the sweetness and truth. To see life for the goodness, the sweetness.
That's what God wants for each of us, His children, to look for, to see and find the joy and happiness each moment of life holds for us. However we each need to make a choice and rather we admit it or not, the choice we make affects every person in our life. And in this case, it was a little boy, now long a man, who will never know how much his grandpa loved him.
Until we meet here again, I pray God bless you and keep your loved ones safe.