It was Sunday, my favorite day of the week! I'd get to go to Grandma's house! She was the sweetest lady -- as sweet as the cinnamon toast she would place gently on the wooden tabletop for us, and the soda-pop she'd carefully pour into small glasses filled with ice. As a child, my heart longed to be at Grandma's house. I was her only grand-daughter, and she called me "my little honey."
My brother and I would clamber up the front steps to see who could greet Grandma first. The door opened, and we were welcomed by the delicate aroma of potpourri and freshly baked zucchini bread. Grandma was alone then, but she was still just as sweet because she didn't think about herself. Her thoughts and actions revolved around her grandchildren. We loved to be with her because she loved to be with us.
Grandma always had extra beds made for us, in case we ended up spending the night, which we often did. There were rules at Grandma's house, but I didn't mind. She had a conscience and she listened to it. She was even mindful of the birds, making certain they were cared for. She had a chair set apart to watch them. She especially admired the cardinals.
In the afternoons, there would be chocolate milk and grilled-cheese sandwiches. She would put on her favorite game show, and fall asleep half way through. I knew she was missing Grandpa. He had passed away with a heart attack as he slept in his reclining chair. She had al-ways taken care of him, too. My brother and I wondered how she could still be so kind even when she was suffering.
I had many questions as a child, and Grandma always had an answer.
"Why are people so mean to each other, Grandma?"
"Well, my little honey, people just don't know how to be friends. It's been going on for a long, long time -- even since I was a child."
Time passed and lovely memories of Grandma's house were solid-ified. Then, my Grandma became very ill. She went to the hospital to get surgery. The doctors assured us Grandma would be ok, so I didn't worry too much.
Sunday always came, but this Sunday was different. My father was on the phone in the morning. I was very eager to see Grandma, and give her a warm, tight hug, and lavish her with the kindness she had always shown me. My father hung up the phone and came to sit with me on the couch. He told me that Grandma didn't make it through the surgery, and he started to cry. I had never seen him cry before.
My ten-year-old heart was hurt and confused. I didn't understand what death was, or why it happened to people. Couldn't we just live forever? Where would my home away from home be now? Where could I go to find the selfless love and warm affection that I experienced at Grandma's house?
Later on in life I searched for the answers to these questions. Then I found a place with even greater love than I knew as a child. But this time, it was much more than the heart of just one person. I was wel-comed by strangers that I now consider my family, in a place of refuge. And now I want to extend the same welcome I was once shown.
We have room in our hearts for you!