We were always close. You can tell by the way we look at each other. A grandma/grandson bond formed at his birth and sealed with memories created over the years.
When he was two, he inspired me to write the following:
"Placed on the chair for a "time out" the weepy two year old wonders why he misbehaves as he whimpers, 'I be a good boy.' In his heart, he is persevering at being good while we are certain he is mastering being bad. All the while, his defiant heart is crying out, Don't stop loving me! Don't give up on me! Who can understand a two year old? God can." ~ Splashes of Serenity: Bathtime Reflections for Drained Moms:
I never did stop loving him. I never gave up on him. Isn't that what grandmothers do? We grandma's have hearts to love unconditionally and forever. And we have faith. Faith to know and believe that
"Love never stops being patient,
never stops believing,
never stops hoping,
never gives up."
1 Corinthians 13:7 (NIV)
A warrior from birth, Connor's passion for all of life —the good and the bad—kept this grandma's prayer life vibrant. Yet within him I saw the tenderest of hearts.
When he was ten he stayed with us for a week of grandparent/grandboy time. Our grass needed mowing. Cutting the grass is my job because I love to mow. With Connor settled inside playing, I set about my task. Before long, Connor appeared at my side saying, "This isn't right. I can't bear watching you mow. I'm going to mow the lawn for you." Two hours later he finished with a smile and a joy in his heart.
When his Pop Pop arrived at his house for a birthday party, 17 year old Connor was the first to see the car. He jumped up and ran outside to help Pop Pop (who has difficulty walking) out of the car and into the house. In Connor I see compassion and love.
Connor and I have loved taking walks together since he was a baby. I'd point out the lion statues on the road and his one-year-old voice would "ROAR!" And then there were the snakes. Oh, the time he entered his Aunt Joanna's house carrying a black snake longer than he was tall. We gasped. Well, actually, we screamed. Connor was delighted with the snake, but quickly respected our wishes for the snake to return to the woods. Big or small, if there was a snake, Connor found it.
My heart rejoices remembering the best walk I ever took. My neck swollen with leukemia and my body weak, I wasn't walking far or long. Connor picked up on what I needed to boost my spirits and my health. "Hey Grandma, let's take a walk!" To everyone's delight and surprise, Connor and I walked four miles that day! My leukemia took a turn, in fact it walked right out of me. Today I walk daily, my neck is not swollen, and my blood counts are normal. Thanks, Connor, and thanks, God!
In a few weeks Connor's passion to be a Marine, serve his country, and rid the world of the bad guys will come true. He'll walk many roads, see snakes and lions along the way, and meet people in need of his tender heart. God has prepared him for such a task as this. He leaves with a piece of my heart and all of my love and a promise of my daily prayers on his behalf.
Semper Fi! means "always faithful."
As a Marine, Connor will be always faithful.
Better yet, our God will be more faithful still.
God's got your back, Connor.
Afterall, Grandma is praying!
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
that he who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion
until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6 (NIV).
Semper Fi! my Marine grandson! I'm so proud and I love you. Looking forward to walking this adventure with you down the roads of life.
Pray for our military, please!