A Grandmother's Daily Prayer

An older woman says a daily prayer that she would one day meet the granddaughter she never got the chance to meet.

By Christine West, Hardy, Kentucky

As appeared in

"Grandma, Grandma, tell us a story!” Four darling children sat by my feet, looking up at me expectantly.

Suddenly, we were interrupted by clapping. “Terrific,” the director said, stepping up to the stage from the chapel aisle. “Except, could you kids face the audience a bit more?”

The kids shifted to face the empty pews, which would be filled in a few days for the church play. “Perfect,” the director said. “Now, Grandma, read to your grandchildren.” A pang of sadness hit me. If only I could read to my real grandchild!

I had a granddaughter, but I’d never met her. Sixteen years earlier my son was involved in a relationship that ended badly. But out of it came a blessing: a baby girl named Lena. I yearned to be a grandmother to her—but shortly after the birth, the mother moved and left no forwarding address.

My son had no idea where his daughter was. Over the years, I asked around town to try and find my son’s ex, but it seemed she didn’t want to be found.

I’d just joined this new church a week earlier, and was promptly offered the part of Grandma in the play. At least now I could pretend to be a grandma. The rehearsals went well, and finally the day of the show arrived. The performance was great. “You all looked so natural up there,” one of my friends said.

Afterward, we went to the church basement for refreshments. I walked over to one of the girls in the play. Rehearsals had been such a whirlwind we never really got to talk. “How’s my granddaughter?” I joked.

“Fine!” she answered. Just then, someone else walked up and asked the girl her name.

I wasn’t sure I heard the girl’s answer correctly. But it made me ask her another question. “What’s your mother’s name?”

She told me.

I was still in shock. “And what’s your father’s name?” I asked.

It was my son.

“Lena,” I said, “you’re not going to believe this…but, I really am your grandmother!”

She’d only started going to that church a week before I did. Since that day of the play, we’ve stayed close. Not long ago, she even made me a great-grandma.