I recently spent a week in New Jersey with Christi and her family as they welcomed our newest grandchild, Judah, into the world. As I reflect on all the sweet moments of that week, the one eclipsing all others was spent with Jada.
Jada is eight. She has twin older brothers and twin younger sisters. And now her new brother Judah.
At bedtime, her older brothers begged me to tell stories of their mom when she was little. And they would bust up laughing as I recalled the hilariously funny things their mother did when she was young.
But when I went to tuck Jada in on my last night there, she surprised me by asking for stories about Aunt Mellie. I thought for a bit, and then I said, “Jada, Aunt Mellie wasn’t wild and crazy like your mother. She was sweet and quiet and very well behaved. She wanted to do things properly. And when Aunt Erica was born, Mellie was my little helper. She changed her diapers and her clothes, she talked to her and played with her and helped me take care of her.”
“How old was Aunt Mellie then?”
“She was eight years old, just like you!”
Jada got quiet, and looked down for a moment – deep in thought.
And then she raised her head. No longer pensive, her eyes were bright, her smile, beaming. And with complete clarity, she announced, “I want to be like Aunt Mellie.”
I don’t know when or how dreams are born or what births the desire to be a certain way. But in that moment, on Jada’s bed, something crystallized for her. It was as tangible as the comforter beneath us. And she was so sincere, so genuine – my sweet granddaughter – choosing goodness over glory. I was moved with emotion.
“Grandma Sue, why are your eyes wet?”
This time it was I who looked down for a moment – deep in thought.
When I raised my head, my eyes were bright, my smile, beaming.
“Happiness tears, Jada. Happiness tears.”
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good… for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
-Luke 6:45 (KJV)