Dear granddaughter on prom night,
I know, I know, I’m just your grandma, not your mother, but here’s the thing, I see her when I see you in that beautiful gown. I open and reopen the picture on my phone and stare at the happy couple smiling back at me. You are stunning. He is handsome. And just who is he anyway?
I came across the picture of your mom all dressed up just this week. She was standing with some guy from years ago before the big date, all fancied up and looking ready for the ball. I can’t even remember his name, but I know how beautiful she was and how nice he looked in his specially made suit.
Proud and protective, a mother bear crouched just under my friendly surface as your mom left on his arm. And I knew that guy had no idea what a precious treasure walked beside him.
I’m excited for you, dear granddaughter, and I’m a little scared.
I sense these passages, whipped by the wind of time, like dandelion parachutes floating in the wind. As if you, dear granddaughter, whose little hand once nestled in mine, now merely brush at the tips of my fingers. A tug in my heart fears you too will float away in your enchanting gown and Rapunzel-do.
What would I say to you if miles didn’t separate us on this night filled with lights and music? Since I am only a grandma who loves a granddaughter and time must pass as it passed before, what words would fit?
If I could, I would put my wrinkled face near and whisper in your ear, “Magic fades. Jesus doesn’t.”
Although a piece of me wants to put all the growing up happening around me on ice, I can’t. I couldn’t with your mom, and I can’t with her babies. And so, I celebrate what I know in my head is right and good.
For my granddaughter is growing into a beautiful, young lady who loves Jesus.
My daughter, mom of my granddaughter, all grown up, smiles. When you smile back, I see its imprint. You laugh, but I hear the echo of hers. My eyes close, and I can feel her excitement and joy of life from long ago as if it were just yesterday. It bubbles up in the enjoyment of your first prom night.
Déjà vu nostalgia squeezes my heart with a little too much emotion. I put down the phone and pray.
Have fun, have the very best kind of fun. I want you to remember this night all your life. I want it to bring joy when everything in it is outdated and out of style. When you look back like I do at times, I pray the picture is pure and sweet.
I want you to see crystal clear through the sparkly fog of the night. I pray that you remember when the magic fades. Jesus doesn’t.
In the morning, after the dress is hung and your shoes lay by the bed, I pray Jesus will remain on your mind. I ask Him to be in your every tomorrow, in the lows as well as the highs. I implore Him to hold your hand when you are alone. I trust He will walk and talk when you yearn for a friend. He will wipe your tears and make you laugh. He will give you more than you think you can handle and just what you need.
Because when the magic fades, Jesus doesn’t.
Tomorrow, I will text your Mom. “I’m glad that’s over she will say,” because I remember it’s what I said, “She had a good time.”
Then, I will go to your grandpa to tell him how it went. I will take his lined hand. We will thank Jesus for the years. One after another will float through our memories like the scattered seeds of all our yesterdays. We will hold each other and thank Jesus for you and all the other 13 grandchildren.
Then maybe, like our own personal prom night with no one looking, we will hold each other and dance together in the living room. He will whisper along with the words of the music, “You look perfect tonight.”
And we will be grateful that Jesus is more glorious than all the magic in this life.