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Favorite Grandparent Memory

Catharine Parks

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Several years ago while sitting in The Coffee Exchange with my nine-year-old granddaughter Alicia, our conversation turned to her mother's choice of lifestyle.

She expressed to me how she felt about it.

Alicia and her sister had a dad in their life, but they also had someone extra, her mother's female paramour.

There we were sitting at a two-seated table next to the wall. I looked at Alicia, admiring my beautiful granddaughter.

"So Alicia, how are things at home?" I looked at her expectantly.

"They're ok, Nana. " She looked up from sipping her hot chocolate.

"You look a little sad Alicia, is everything really ok"? I asked.

"Yeah, " she glanced at me, and then took another sip.

"I like Helen, she is a lot of fun, but sometimes her and mom embarrass me. "

"What do you mean" I watched her face carefully.

"They took us to the park once and while Lynn and I were playing on the swings, they sat on the bench kissing, " she looked down at her hot chocolate.

"I see what you mean, that would be embarrassing and I can see how you would be upset. " I told her.

I looked at Alicia, her face troubled.

She removed her spoon from the cup and placed it on the table, “my greatest fear Nana, is that I will grow up to be like her. "

"Alicia, I'm going to tell you something, and I want you to remember it for the rest of your life, it's something you can apply to anything in life. "

I sent a prayer to God asking for divine wisdom to give my granddaughter the words she needed to heal.

"You have to realize people choose what they want to do in life, and your mother chose to live this kind of a lifestyle. You don't have to follow in her footsteps because God has given us free will, and that means we get to choose what path we go down in life. "

Alicia smiled at me, and finished her hot chocolate. She placed the cup on the table, and then looked up at the wall where a picture hung between us. The picture had two houses with two paths leading up to the houses, and the sky was stormy looking.

"Nana, do you see that picture with the houses and two paths leading to the houses. "

"Yes. " I replied wondering what wonderful words of wisdom were about to erupt from my granddaughter.

"The path on the left is me, and the other path on the right is my mom. " We are both going down different paths in life. "

I beamed at her, “I couldn't have said it better, sweetheart. "

She smiled back at me, her face brightening considerably.

"You know Nana, I'm glad we had this talk, because it really bothered me.

"Honey, you can come and talk to me anytime.

We rose from our chairs and left, both of us feeling better for having a heart-to-heart talk.

Catharine Leona Joy Parks was born in Chatham, Ontario on June 5, 1953 to a Canadian mother and an American father. Her early childhood was spent in the church growing up in a strict environment but at an early age started to desire more. With an adventuresome spirit she would join her brother escaping from her bedroom window after bedtime and going downtown with him to dances, plays and the movies, to enjoy all the things that her religious parents denied her.

Spending her earlier years in Windsor and drawing for countless hours, Catharine creative by nature- an artist was born. Catharine sold her first art work in grade 5, chosen from the art museum where it hung on display, a cartoon caricature from the old comic strip, Lil’ Abner.

Catharine's love of words started from early childhood when she would make up fictitious words and songs. She has been writing songs since 1983.
On January 25, 2007, she published her first devotional, A Glimpse of the Cross, on the Mustard Seed Ministries Site. Cliffhanger was published June 10, 2007 on DivineCaroline a flagship site of Real Girls Media Network, Inc.


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