We could have backed out. Easily backed out. The hesitancy in her voice told me we really weren't doing her a favor by stopping in for a visit.
The week the two older children would be at VBS and she just across the street, I decide to initiate a call to see if the youngest two and I can come for a short visit.
"Oh, I don't know. They don't really know me. We could try it. Maybe just for a half hour or so - you know, I haven't changed a diaper in years," she wearily debates.
Well, I promise I won't ask you to change a diaper," I reply.
"Okay, well let's just try it," she succumbs.
I originally think our visit will be for her sake. Now, I question my motive.
It could very well be determined that she would rather not have her day interrupted with visitors. Yet I determine that I need to do this, if not for her, for my children - for me. I want them to know her - the mother of the man who stumbled into the life of a women raising six daughters already reaching puberty. The mother of the man who introduced me to the mountains, camping, fishing, cribbage, and tennis. The woman who lost her husband more than twenty years ago and has depended her very life on her Savior as long as I have known her. The woman who has not let an encounter go by without sharing Jesus.
A family function has always been the venue for when we would see her. But, those are few and far between. Simply running into her has become rare as the years have passed; paces speeding up as she is slowing down.
The three of us arrive and I push the button in the entryway so she may buzz us in through the second door of the senior citizen building. The door buzzes open and she announces she will be waiting at the elevator. We visit in front of the elevator for several minutes, she in a chair facing us, getting acquainted with Drew and Madeline. Drew shows her all of his "owies" and is captivated as she shows him hers.
"What happened? " on repeat keeps the conversation a flow.
"Here, I want to show you something," she tells Drew and invites us around the corner to the 400 square foot space where she eats and sleeps and pours into scripture.
She has a yellow ball tucked away and she directs Drew to form a triangle with Madeline and herself, then they begin rolling the ball to one another.
Thirty minutes passes quickly and it is time to walk across the street to pick up the older two from VBS.
We say good-bye. She hands me a box of cards and wonders if we'd like the Max Lacado Hermie themed birthday card set. I thank her and take the box with the vivid cover and hand it to Drew, knowing he would like to see the picture.
She asks Drew and Madeline if they will come visit again.
On the way out, I remember the last VBS the oldest, Robby, attended and how she walked across the street for the last day's picnic. I know the answer, but I invite her again to the Friday afternoon picnic.
Too many people. Too far too walk. It is true. I know a lot can change in a couple of years at her age.
Drew walks out the front doors behind me, with Madeline straddling my hip, and yells back to her, "Good-bye...thanks for the puzzle!"
All are smitten.
In that moment I'm so glad we went and didn't let the hesitancy I sensed in her voice - in me - stop us.
Two days later, I show up to the VBS picnic a little early, pushing Drew and Madeline in the "Chariot" double stroller onto the VBS grounds at the YMCA, and the first person I see standing there waving me down is her. Grandma Anna.