The love of a child

Published 4:08 am Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The pain in my heart felt like a heavy rock weighing me down. My big brother wasn’t supposed to die. He was young and full of dreams. Sometimes life just doesn’t seem fair, I thought once again.

Paul had called me so full of excitement when his grandson greeted the world on his birthday.

“I guess we’ll celebrate our birthdays together,” he gushed excitedly.

On that wonderful day none of us had any inkling that Paul would never see another birthday. I gave in to tears, and the knot in my throat eased a little as they coursed down my cheeks.

I busied myself with the laundry thinking it was better to accomplish something than to brood in my unhappy thoughts. I knew that my big brother was in a better place and would certainly not return to his old life if given the option. I didn’t feel sorry for him at all, but I felt the sting of losing my friend.

Many mornings we had chatted over coffee. We talked about our kids and grandchildren. We dreamed of all the exotic places we would like to visit, and discussed our plans for the day. If the members of congress could have tuned into our conversations I feel certain they would have benefitted. We solved the problems of the United States as well as the rest of the world regularly and with relative ease.

In the afternoon I heard a truck drive up and smiled with delight to see my darling grandson and his beautiful mom coming up the walk. As usual I jumped and squealed when I opened the door and Gauge popped out from behind a bush. His eyes sparkled with laughter at how easily his grandmother spooked.

Cherrie and I sat down to visit when I noticed that Gauge had taken on a look of uncertainty as if something was troubling him. He nudged his mom and looked into her eyes questioningly.

“Do you want to give it to Gigi now? It’s ok. She’s gonna love it.”

“Gauge, do you have a surprise for me?”

He nodded and then I noticed tears in his little eyes.

“What is it sweetie,” I asked.

For once my sweet grandson was at a loss for words, but the look on that little face spoke volumes.

His mom took a small package from her purse and gently placed in his hands. Gauge reached out and gingerly placed the gift on my lap. Cherrie quietly spoke, “Gauge has been thinking of you since Uncle Paul passed away, and he picked this gift out all by himself.”

“Well, if Gauge picked it out I know I’ll love it,” I said while unwrapping the beautiful package.

My fingers carefully unwrapped the paper from the small box holding a lovely silver piece of jewelry. Looking more closely I discovered a cross and a heart dangled from the bracelet with the words You Are Never Alone engraved in black. Tears of a different kind sprung to my eyes, and my heart filled with joy at the depth of my grandson’s love.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at