How wonderful to get a post from England yesterday! (It's good to know you're still alive, and thriving in God's will, Belinda!)
But there is no post-in-waiting in her dashboard this morning, which means that while we all anxiously await the sequel to Belinda's last post about the memorial tree, I'm on again. Sorry all you Belinda-groupies. I'm just as sad about this as you are. But hang on and open wide. You're about to get a dose of some good medicine with the help of some of her family.
Last evening I had occasion to spend some time with Brenda (Belinda's daughter) and two of her four incredible grandaughters, Tiffany-Amber and Victoria, who are 9 and 8, respectively. This is a snapshot from our supper-time together at a restaurant in Bradford:
The girls were incredibly patient with our adult talk, and though we threw them occasional bits of attention here and there, I knew their patience - and ability to sit still - was running thin. So I thought it was time I taught the girls a new game my own kids had taught me at our Thanksgiving dinner. And now I think Brenda will never take me out again.
The game went like this: Tippy and Tori sit facing each other and looking into each other's eyes.
Tori says, “Hah”.
Tippy returns, “Hah, hah”.
Tori adds another. “Hah, hah, hah.” Each time they have a turn, they have to add one “Hah”. The first one to laugh or to say anything other than their correct number of “hah's”, loses.
They caught onto it immediately. After a few games between themselves, one of them would turn to one of us adults, and cast the bait with a tempting "Hah!"
"Hah, hah!" we would throw it back. It was irresistible. Intemittent "hah's" and peals of laughter filled the restaurant and perfect strangers looked over at our table with big smiles on their faces. Tiffany-Amber and Victoria would do their best to get themselves ready for the next go by deliberately putting on poker faces, but it only took three or four hah's until you would see the humour lines beginning to creep into their facial muscles. They would go into contortions trying NOT to laugh. But their lips would begin to quiver, their eyes would start twinkling and whoops! A "hah-hah-hah" would suddenly turn into the full-blown music of their unrestrained laughter. Then, of course, all four of us would be laughing. When it was my turn I really tried to win and sometimes I did, but I couldn't keep it up! Truth is, I couldn’t resist when I saw their dear young faces trying so hard not to laugh and I would just have to laugh too.
Brenda seemed to be enjoying it too the first dozen times or so. She was smiling a lot, anyway. And laughing with us. But later in the car she told the girls they weren’t allowed to play it on the way home, so I think she might have had quite enough of the giggling and silliness my suggestion had instilled into the party. That wasn’t enough to thwart me, though, as you might guess if you know me at all. I quickly taught the girls how to form the letters “H” and “A” with their fingers, so they could could continue playing in sign language without bothering their mom. It was a quick lesson in "how to break the rules without getting caught"! (Like I said, I doubt Brenda will ever take me out again! But she smiled, kind of down her nose, so I think I'm forgiven, but only time will tell.)
Proverbs 17: 22 says: "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength." NLT
The four of us all had good dose of strong medicine last night, and encouraged each other along the way. And now we're sharing our little stash with you.