“Bet you’re excited to see the grandkids,” my husband said, turning onto our son’s street. “Of course I am,” I said, but in truth I was dreading it.
I was in no state to be around the children today. The doctor had found some nodules in my thyroid and scheduled surgery.
What if something went wrong? What if the nodules were cancerous? What if the kids could tell something was worrying me?
Maybe this visit is a bad idea, I thought as we pulled up in front of the house.
The moment we got out of the car, nine-year-old Brittany came running to me.
“Grandma!” she said, wrapping her arms around my waist. “I’m so glad you’re here! I have so many things I want to do with you!”
I stroked her hair. There were a lot of things I wanted to do with Brittany too!
But I was so weighed down with worry about my operation I didn’t know if I was appropriate company for anyone, much less a little girl. Brittany was already dealing with her parents’ divorce and a move to another state. She couldn’t handle my troubles too.
Brittany’s brothers were playing at a friend’s house. My husband and our son were soon deep in conversation in the living room. I tried to hide out in the kitchen alone, but Brittany came and found me.
“Come on!” Brittany said. “We’re having a girls’ day out!”
I tried to think of an excuse to say no. Then I saw Brittany’s face: She looked so excited.
“We’ll be back in a while,” I called out to the guys.
I grabbed my car keys and purse. Brittany grabbed her favorite CD and a tube of the pinkest lip-gloss I’d ever seen.
Once we were in the car Brittany smeared on that lip-gloss and stuck the CD in the stereo. We hit the open road.
Brittany sang at the top of her lungs. She danced in her seat and clapped her hands. I couldn’t help giggling. It was the first time I’d laughed in days.
“You sing too,” said Brittany, turning up the volume. “It’s fun.”
I didn’t know the words, so I made some up.
“Where should we have lunch?”
“You pick!” I said.
We drove to Brittany’s favorite spot and ordered sandwiches, chips and soda–the works! After we ate we strolled through our favorite shops.
Brittany picked up some trinkets for her dad, her teacher and her brothers. Being cheerful for Brittany had made me feel better.
“Now we have to get a special treat for you,” I said. “What do you want?”
Brittany motioned for me to bend down. Then she cupped her hand and whispered in my ear, “I want you to be my grandma forever.”
My heart sank. For a few moments I couldn’t respond. All my fear about the surgery came rushing back. Brittany could see it on my face. I was sure of it.
“Forever is a long time, sweetheart,” I said. “I don’t know if I can promise you that.” Had I ruined our girls’ day out?
Brittany put her hands on her hips.
“Yes you can, Grandma! Daddy told me all about your operation, so I talked to the angels. They told me you’ll be okay. You just have to believe it yourself.”
Brittany had known about my surgery all along? What do you know. She saw I was the girl who’d needed a special day–so she had given it to me. The surgery went well.
Within a week I was given the all clear. Brittany and I had many girls’ days out ahead. And I’d never consider missing one again.
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