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Good Intentions

“Let’s do it!.  She will be so surprised!”  I giggled with enthusiasm as I crammed the last of the cookie in my mouth.  My seven year old cousin, Stacy readily agreed and quickly drank the last drop from the frosty Pepsi bottle my grandmother gave for us to share. It was summer after my grandfather had died and we were taking a break after helping my grandmother rake the dry grass scorched by the summer sun.  The garage not only offered a coolness to reenergize us, but countless opportunities to keep up busy for the rest of the afternoon.  The door, sanded and bare, leaned propped up against the back wall.  Beside it, was two gallon cans of gray tinted paint.  My dad planned to tackle this chore over the weekend, but why wait?

We yelled inside about our plans to fix the door and we received our grandmother’s blessing from the kitchen where she was baking some sweet smelling bread.  I retrieved the old paint brushes hanging on the wall rack, while Stacy pried open the paint cans.  Excitement built as we mapped out a plan for our masterpiece.  We would start at opposite ends and meet in the middle.  

 

I turned once again to inspect our handiwork and saw the scene through  Rene’s eyes.  Splatters of paint covered the walls, floors and even her new washing machine. The door was definitely shiny with fresh paint, but it was also streaky and uneven.  I felt the hot tears burning in my eyes and noticed that my cousin’s lower lip quivering.  Then I heard a sweet, gentle laugh and felt my grandmother’s arms hug us tightly.  “What would I do without my little helpers?”  she whispered softly. “I love you so much.”  Rene went to get her camera and snapped a picture of us covered in paint, posing proudly beside that door.  

 

I know now that she wasn’t trying to preserve evidence our artistic talent or her nicely painted door with that picture.  No, she was capturing a precious moment of love that runs so deeply within our family.