Wednesday, December 16, 2009

T-T: Talia Tales

"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs16:24, NIV

A burst of Christmas cheer arrived this afternoon when two-year-old Talia walked through the front door with her mama.

"I want to see Grandma!" (She calls her great grandma, "grandma" and her grandma "ga-ga").

She ran to the kitchen to hand-deliver a picture she had painted in water colors and an angel ornament with her a photo of herself in the center.

"We decided to deliver Grandma's Christmas present early this year," Rachel, Talia's mother explained. She knew how difficult the holiday season always was for my mom without my dad.

A week ago she called me up to ask if she and Talia could buy a little tree and decorate it with Grandma.

"Well, we do have a small tree already." I pointed out, "but I think Grandma would really love it if you came over and did that for her."

So, came they did...bringing T-T stories galore to keep us in stitches as they hung my ornaments from around the world on the little white tree.

"I like this one the best!" Talia declared when I gave her a painted ceramic cat to hang. She was not impressed with the more beautiful and exotic decorations.

"Talia, tell Grandma about the princess party. Remember how ... wanted to eat the purple door on her castle cake? Wasn't that funny?" Talia began to giggle," 'I want to eat the purple door!' " she mimicked her friend.

"T-T, where did you see Santa?"

"At daddy's work party," as she 'went up and down' in Grandma's rocking chair.

"She ran right past all the other bigger kids and jumped in Santa's lap!"

"She's not afraid of anything," Grandma marveled.

Of course, Talia had to do all the usual things she does in every visit-eat crackers, feed the dog his treats, and watch Elmo on Youtube, to name a few. The difference came in how she asked.

She didn't say "Crackers, please." as she would have before. She walked up to Grandma and said, "May I have a cracker, please?" very politely and all-grown up.

Just before she left, she observed Grandpa's picture on the wall.

"What's Grandpa doin'?" she asked.

"Uh, watching us," I replied, a little taken aback. I didn't even know she knew who her grandpa was!

"Grandpa looks real happy."

The photo, taken sometime during the last winter of dad's life, showed my father with a slight dreamy smile. He was wearing his winter jacket and favorite chauffeur's cap.

Talia's observation came as a sweet balm to Grandma's ears.

I think when we look at the picture, we see my father's undiscovered cancer, and the foreshadowing of his death. Talia sees only the serene face my father lived his life wearing.

It was exactly the right thing to say to my mother. Grandma replied, "That's your grandpa."

Talia's mama said, "Grandpa gave you the little bank where you keep your money, didn't he?"


Grandma thought for a moment, then went into her bedroom to get some coins for Talia to put in the tin replica antique car bank they had given her from her grandpa.

I guess Grandma wanted to express her pleasure and reinforce who Talia's grandpa was at the same time.

"These coins are for you to put in your bank," she said handing her a nickel, a penny and a dime.

"Okay," Talia replied, still rocking in the chair. She smiled her angelic smile.

It seemed a fair exchange to me: each one left richer because of the other.

Proverbs 17:6 says that, "Children's children are a crown to the aged."

This was certainly the case when Talia and Rachel swept into our home bringing their Christmas cheer this afternoon.

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