Topsail Beach, North Carolina
June 7, 2015
We had walked and talked in recent years but only for brief interludes as a sense of awkwardness prevailed . . . she was maturing and I was aging, I dare say she more gracefully than I. But moments ago the intangible something that had previously served to inhibit true sharing seemed to be carried away by the fresh breeze propelling the brown pelicans before us.
The miles and conversation passed easily as Riley and I strode along, disrupting the incoming tide’s pioneering waves. And though the strand bears no lingering evidence of our having passed, a lasting memory was being generated, for I was beholding my granddaughter: not as the baby I baptized fifteen years ago, or as the toddler who held my hand when first encountering the ocean’s edge, or as the little girl who enjoyed dressing in pretty clothes, or as the teenager who will soon be a high school junior, but as a young woman . . . and what a woman Riley is and is becoming!
Her blonde ponytail casually swaying from side to side belies a seriousness of purpose seldom found among those her age but, when coupled with her vast innate mental ability and curiosity, portends a bright future in college and beyond, way beyond. Her charming personality and mannerisms are matched only by her attractiveness . . . beneath her striking good looks is a heart that loves the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s hand is clearly on Riley, His glory to reveal – would that I would live to see it!
As Riley returned to her spot on the beach, I thanked her for walking with me. Her soft reply cemented the memory, “I love you, Papa.”