He was about 4 years old, when he first came into our lives. A rambunctious little boy, full of life, smiles, and big brown eyes that would make any heart melt. My 2 year old grandson just couldn’t get enough of this new found little boy that was at grandpa and grandma’s house whenever there was a family gathering. “I want you to be pal”, Chris would tell Sam. And pals they were for about ten years. Then, as quickly as Sam entered our lives, he was gone.
His pictures still hang on the walls of our home alongside the other grandchildren’s pictures. I don’t have the heart to take them down, and why should I, anyway? This little boy called me grandma for almost 10 years, and in my heart he will continue to be my grandson, just like the other 4 grandsons I have. He was the first grandson I attended a grandparents day for.
Sam became the product of a broken home about 7 years ago. Like hundreds of thousands of other children, his mother and stepfather(my son), got divorced. It’s an everyday occurrence, it seems. The divorce broke my heart. His mother promised that she would keep in touch and Sam could come and visit whenever he wanted to. But the bitterness that existed between my son and Sam’s mother prevented that from happening for the most part.
For the first couple of years after the divorce, I would send birthday and holiday gifts. After getting no response, I wasn’t sure Sam was even getting them, so I stopped trying to make any further contact with him. I knew Sam was still in the area. I would hear from different individuals that he was going to school in a town about 25 miles from where we lived.
About 3 years after the divorce, I did run into Sam. He was working in a convenience store where I happened to purchase some gas, one day. He gave me a big hug and told me he wanted to come visit sometime. I told him he was more then welcome, anytime he wanted to come over. Again, there was no further communication from Sam. I heard from other individuals that he was having all kinds of problems and had dropped out of school. I kept him in my prayers and hoped that he would have a good life, even if we weren’t a part of it.
Out of the blue, on a snowy Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, the phone rang. It was Sam’s mother calling. I shuddered when I heard her voice, fearing the worst. She was calling to ask if we would like to join Sam and her for dinner some evening. Sam’s birthday was coming up and he wanted to come and visit grandpa and grandma. With tears streaming down my cheeks, and my voice cracking, I told her we’d love to join them for dinner to celebrate Sam’s birthday. When I hung up the phone, I went to my room and knelt down and said a prayer, thanking the good lord for having the chance to see Sam again. It had been over 4 years since we’d seen him. He didn’t forget us, I thought to myself, and he wants to see us. I was totally overjoyed. I couldn’t wait for the day to arrive when we’d meet for dinner.
A slim, handsome, young man entered the restaurant where we had dinner that evening. The little boy with the chubby cheeks, and big brown eyes had grown up. It definitely was Sam, though. He had that same shy smile, and when he gave me a hug, it was like he had never left our lives at all. The evening conversation was quite easy. Sam talked about all the good times he used to have at our house. He remembered birthdays, holidays, and other family gatherings. He teasingly reminded me that he could get me to take him to the store and pick out a toy, or some other treat whenever he visited. “I had you wrapped around my little finger”, he said. Oh how right he was too. The evening ended with promises to keep in touch.
On our way home, I thought about the good time we had. I felt so good about Sam wanting to see us again, and especially about the good memories he had about our family. The trials and tribulations of divorce are heart wrenching for so many families. I feel the good lord had a hand in bringing this family together again, even if it was for just a short time. He knew when the time was right for this little reunion. My prayers were answered. I now know that Sam is okay. The rambunctious little 4 year old that entered our lives so many years ago, has grown into a fine young man. He came back for a visit. What more could this grandma want?