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Changing Seasons

2. Uncomfortable Feelings

 

It was summer. Grandpa was wondering what this summer was going to be like. The last few years he spent most of his summer going different places and visiting a lot of his friends. It was still hard for him to be alone.

 

Grandpa thought this summer might be different. He was starting to feel like this is where he belonged. He had a really nice church he was attending. He was becoming friends with a few of them. He really enjoyed the kids a lot. He just wondered what it was going to be like with all these kids not going to school during the day. Will they be coming over his house and bugging him all the time? Or would it not be bugging, but just kind of fun to have them around?

 

After breakfast, Grandpa decided he would go out and sit on his front porch. He didn’t really think of himself as being old, but he did have a rocking chair on the front porch.

 

While Grandpa was reading a book on the front porch, he heard a familiar voice call out to him, “Hey, Grandpa. What book are you reading?”

 

Grandpa was thinking that the first young man that would come by his house during the summer would be Larry. But this was not Larry. This was Frank. What a surprise!

 

Grandpa looked up from his book, and said, “Hi, Frank. How are you doing this beautiful morning? Are you excited about having the summer off?“

 

Frank walked up to Grandpa’s front porch. Frank said, “Sure. I love summer vacation. I’m not really sure what I’m gonna do this summer. But I thought I would walk by and chat with you for a little while. That is, if you’re not busy.”

 

Grandpa said, “Busy? How could I possibly be busy? What would you like to talk about?”

 

Frank responded, “Grandpa, do you remember the story that you told during children’s ministry a while ago? That is, I think it was New Year’s Eve.”

 

Grandpa answered, “Let me think.”

 

After what Frank thought was a really long time, but it really wasn’t, Grandpa responded.

 

Grandpa said, “Yes, I remember that story. I guess you liked it. Is that right?”

 

Frank answered “I think it was one of your best! But I don’t think you actually finished the story, did you? It seemed like we were all kinda OK with where you stopped the story, but to me it seemed liked there were a few things kinda not said. And I’ve been thinking about them for a while, and I was wondering if there really is more to the story.”

 

Grandpa said, “The story was primarily about Albert, the boy that was having a hard time with the fact that he was able to run around and play, but his friend, Alex, could not.”

 

Frank responded, “Yeah, I think that’s right. But we never really found out very much about Alex. We know that there was an accident, and Alex helped his friend Albert, so that Albert didn’t get hurt quite so bad. But during that rescue, something happened to Alex so he couldn’t walk. But we never found out what that was.”

 

Grandpa thought for a short time, and then he said, “Well, Frank, there is more to the story, but I wasn’t sure that all of the kids present were ready to hear and discuss some other things. And the other things are related to Alex.”

 

Frank started getting a little bit nervous, but he asked the question anyway, “Grandpa, … are you willing to finish the story for some of us, …that is, … if we’re interested in hearing the rest of the story?”

 

Grandpa answered, “Actually, telling the rest of the story is not only going to be difficult for you kids, but it’s going to be difficult for me as well. “

 

Frank said, “Is that because the story is about you, or somebody that’s very close to you?“

 

Grandpa was wondering whether any of the kids would actually get to this point. It seemed like Frank had. And Grandpa still wanted to be a good friend to Frank, as well as the rest of the kids.

 

Grandpa answered, “The story does touch me in a personal way, but I really can’t tell you the details without telling the story.“

 

Frank was starting to realize that Grandpa was very uncomfortable talking about this.

 

Frank said, “I don’t wanna put you in a very uncomfortable position. You don’t have to answer me right now. Larry, Lisa, and Charlie told me about some of the conversations that they had with you recently. About your wife, and your dog. They said that was very difficult for you to talk about. I can understand that. I won’t mention this to anybody unless you actually decide you want to finish the story. You can just let me know later what you decide.”

 

Grandpa said, “Thanks, Frank. I guess I need to have some time to myself. Thanks for stopping by.”

 

As Frank was walking back toward his house, he realized that this was the first time that he ever had to discuss something with somebody, other than his family, that made them feel uncomfortable. Frank wasn’t really sure what to do with how he was feeling. He promised Grandpa that he wasn’t gonna talk to anybody about it. But he wasn’t sure how long he was going to be able to go without talking to somebody about how he was feeling.

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