Anna (5-4-10)

My granddaughter makes my dark days bright and brings balance to the most uncertain of times.  She’s only two years old but she is blessed with a spirit that has the power to transform.  I’ve seen it happen time and time again.  Not just to me but to others, too.  And each time I am amazed and convinced that God has a special plan for her. 

Her name Anna means “favored by God”, which is completely appropriate but it seems that each of us that know her has also been favored by God.  She makes everyone that she encounters feel better for having had the experience.  Of course it is impossible for me to be completely objective but others will confirm what I say.  Anna has it!  Whatever it is (that thing that most of us go through life searching for but may never find).

Recently three things happened: 

First, we were at my in-laws and she saw a photo of my wife’s grandmother (this would be Anna’s great-great grandmother).  Mimi has been gone from us for about ten years now.  Anna of course would never have known her.  She passed by the photo and said “there’s Mimi!”  It was as if Mimi had entered the room and Anna instantly knew her!  Now she may have previously seen a photo of Mimi and may have been told who she was, but remember, she’s only two.  So there she was recognizing Mimi and calling her name and it felt as if Mimi was suddenly in our midst.  We had the sense that Mimi was somehow “touching us” through Anna.

Secondly, we were at the Grotto at church for the recitation of the Rosary.  May is the month of the Rosary and this is done each day in May.  Anna hadn’t been to the Grotto in months and we weren’t sure if she would have the ability to stay still for the 20 minutes or so that we would be there.  At one point she got a little too playful and our daughter Bess reminded her that Jesus was on the crucifix of the Rosary that she was holding.  Anna then felt compelled to share that information with the dozen or so people there.  She tip-toed up to each person and whispered “this is Jesus!” while pointing to her Rosary.  Her simple act put a smile on each person’s face and I believe that her shared joy reminded us all why we were there in the first place.

Finally, my wife’s friend spent the night with us while traveling through town.  Anna loves her and after seeing her that evening decided to include her name in her “litany” of “God bless, Mommy, Daddy, Anna, etc…” at bedtime.  That was all her doing.  She decided that she would include her in her prayers.

I know that these are simple things but no less meaningful.  Am I more keenly aware of how special she is because she’s my granddaughter and I love her so much?  Or is she “favored by God”?  It doesn’t matter.  What is important is that her tiny presence makes a difference.  How many little ones are in your life?  How many insignificant people (by society’s standards) do you know?  How many angels has God placed in your life?  It’s easy for us to pay attention to the important and powerful people in our lives but maybe theirs is not the message we need to hear.  As for me, I’m going to keep listening to Anna…

 Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

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