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About the Writer:

Nancy chooses to look at life as opportunities to know more about God's people and desires to pass on His unfailing love to those around her. As a young widow with growing children, Nancy's life experiences are a blend of hope through hard times and faith that has moved mountains in her life. Her writings are effective storytelling with humor, biblical insight and deep compassion.


Grandma Has To Go Away (For Just a Little While)

A Children's Story

By Nancy Hughes

Gracyn sat on Mommy’s bed, looking out the window at the big yellow sunflower in her neighbor’s yard. Today was not a good day. Gracyn’s mommy had hugged her and hugged her as she whispered that Grandma had gone to heaven and would not be at her house any more. Grandma had been very very sick and Mommy said that now Grandma was with Jesus and was not sick any more.

Gracyn closed her eyes and instantly her grandma’s face popped up in her mind: Pale blue eyes that had little crinkles in the corners when Grandma tried to fix her glasses to look at a magazine. A nose that was remarkably like Gracyn’s nose. Hair the color of Gracyn’s with a little bit of gray that Grandma said was “frosting.” That always made Gracyn smile. The only frosting she knew about was on her birthday cake!

Suddenly Gracyn could not see the sunflower very clearly because her eyes were full of tears. “What am I going to do without my grandma?” she thought. “Oh, my!” Gracyn said out loud. “Now who will play Barbie dolls with me? Grandma was the very best person to help dress my dolls and dance around the room with me.” Her thoughts continued to swirl and jump, just like Grandma had done with Gracyn and her dolls. “Grandma was my best friend. I miss her already!”

Mommy came in to talk and Gracyn could tell that she had been crying, too. She curled up on the bed and pulled Gracyn into her arms. “Tell me what you are thinking,” she whispered gently. At first Gracyn couldn’t think of a single thing, but one by one, her words came tumbling out, threatening to fall over each other, just as her tears were doing.

“Will I ever see Grandma again? I miss her! I want to see her again and talk to her…can I?”

Mommy smiled in that special way that only mommy’s know how to smile. “Oh, yes, Gracyn. You will get to see Grandma again,” she said. “Right now, she is in heaven and some day, when WE go to heaven, we will see her again. Do you know what I think she is doing?” Gracyn could only shake her head no. “I think she is singing,” Mommy said. “Remember how much Grandma loved to sing?” Gracyn started to smile. “She sang with me all the time. Songs about Jesus. Songs about God’s love.” Gracyn could feel a knot start to grow in her throat. “I miss her so much!”

“I do, too,” Mommy continued, “But Grandma left us a special gift – a gift that she gave both of us for those times, like now, when we miss her very much.” Gracyn was excited at the thought of a gift. “What is it? Is it in a box, wrapped with paper and a bow?” “Oh, no, Gracyn. It’s much better than a gift in a box. Look.” Mommy reached over to the nightstand and picked up Gracyn’s mirror.

“What do you see, when you look in this mirror, honey?” Gracyn leaned over and looked in. “Well, I see ME.” “Keep looking,” Mommy said. “Tell me what you see when you think of Grandma telling you she had frosting on her hair.” Gracyn immediately began to smile. “I still see me, but I’m smiling!” “That’s exactly right, Gracyn. Now, look at my face in the mirror,” Mommy said with a big smile. “What do you see?” Gracyn looked in the mirror and immediately saw her mommy’s face and something else: a smile! “I see YOU smiling, Mommy,” she said. “And do you know who else smiled just like this?” Mommy asked. “Grandma!” Gracyn said excitedly. “Grandma and you and I have the same smile!”

“You are right, Gracyn. We both have Grandma’s smile. And every time we look in a mirror and smile r-e-a-l-l-y big, we will see Grandma’s smile, too. I know a little song that will help you when you miss Grandma. Do you want to hear it?” Gracyn nodded as she leaned her head on Mommy’s shoulder.

As they both looked in the mirror, Mommy sang:

“Grandma has to go away for just a little while.

But she left us a gift because she gave us both her smile!

A mirror holds that gift, so when you’re feeling sad and blue

Just look and you will see her smile is grinning back at you.”

Gracyn and her mommy had many, many days ahead when they missed Grandma. But Gracyn remembered what her mommy had told her: Grandma is in heaven and one day they will see her again. And Gracyn and Mommy both knew that any time they wanted to, they could pick up a mirror and see a glimpse of Grandma smiling back at them.


Copyright © June, 2006 – Nancy Hughes. All rights reserved.

Editor's Note:

Nancy Hughes manuscript for "Healing for the Heart...A Guide for Survival in the World of the Widow" has been accepted by Harvesthouse Publishing Company. Congratulations, Nancy! Nancy is in the process of completing and final editing of this book about "Widowhood" and continues to write and minister to students as a high school nurse.

This children's story, "Grandma Has to Go Away," was written after Nancy experienced the loss of her sister to cancer. The song in the story is one that Nancy wrote as well as developed the music. Nancy's deepest desire is to continue to share the hope and healing of Christ to all through her storytelling and biblical truths.

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