When I was a little girl, and not very well liked in school, I loved the story of the Ugly Duckling with its promise of beauty and maturity.
When I was in third or fourth grade, I had experienced a particularly rough day. I remember running over to talk to Grandpa Lester--my best buddy and the one to whom I confided all my girlish joys and hardships. Tears running down my face, I told him my woes. A few days later, Grandpa brought a picture he'd cut from the Penny's Catalogue. The model was lovely, her smile radiant.
He put the picture into my hands and said, "When you get older, this is what you will look like." Then he stooped to smile into my eyes. "But you are already beautiful inside."
I never forgot what he said that day. The odd thing is that when I was in my 20's, I actually DID resemble the picture Grandpa gave to me. I still have it--and even now that I'm getting older and more wrinkled as each day passes--I think about the gift of true beauty and future promise Grandpa gave to me.
Daddy Update: The wound specialist believes the bone still exposed in Dad's scalp will most likely heal over by itself without surgery. Dad's tests have come back looking great. Please pray for my parents outlook--it is so hard for them to be away from home so long. We are preparing the house so they can go home sometime mid-September. We are praying we can get it done by that time--Mom must return home so she can teach the first of October.