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The Saturday Journal: Waiting Only Lasts for So Long

Waiting Only Last for So Long is a story of three generations–a grandmother who lives with regrets, her son whose life has been filled with resentment and secrets, and a granddaughter who believes in the love of family and the power of hope and forgiveness. 

I've been working on this story for a while now and not certain the direction it will land--whether it will be a short story or something more. But for now, I hope you will enjoy reading a preview of the story of Granny Anna, Henry, and Emily--Waiting Only Lasts for So Long.

Waiting Only Lasts for So Long

“There are years that ask questions, and years that answer.”

Zora Neale Hurston

I’ve seen the angels more than once hovering outside my window.  They watch me.  Their beauty is like none I've ever seen.  And God, I’m ready to go with them, I am.  You have given me a life beyond what I deserve. I could not ask for more. But shamefully, I do.  Lord, just one more thing–I pray–before I go. 


The gravel drive hasn’t changed much since her teenage years. It’s still a challenge–an obstacle course dodging potholes the size of the Ohio River. The worn pasture fences line the drive–the colors are aged–gray and greens and moss splattering the edges. The ripening fields are kissed with what looks like white manna from heaven–a late frost. And Willie stands in the fog of the valley–his brown coat shining in the rising sun on this early spring morning.  And everything looks like home. 

Emily slows as she makes her way down the familiar road–pulling over to smell the chill in the air. And Willie hears her familiar whistle and comes running to the fence.  Because he knows where Emily is–there’s always sugar cubes.  Some of the sweetest.

“Hey ole boy,” Emily says reaching into her pocket.  “How’s Granny A. doing? Have you seen her out and about on this cold morning?”

Granny Anna was usually up with the sun, in the barn, or in the pasture.  But she’s still recovering from a bad cough–likely asthma, the doctor says.  Emily knew her Granny A would slow down sometime. Be more prone to sickness.  It was expected.  After all, she’ll be turning 80 this coming fall.  But Emily still wasn’t ready for it.  

She drives around to the back of the old white farm house to park. She’s been making this trip to her Granny A’s house for close to twenty years. It’s hard to imagine now not having Granny Anna in her life. 

Emily grabs her bag out of the backseat of the old Jeep and Mavis yawns–finally arousing from the two hour drive.  “Come on girl, time to see Granny A,” Emily says as she reaches to help her old friend. Like Granny A, the yellow lab is getting on up in years.  But she can still chase a squirrel up a tree like a champ.  

The smell of bacon seeps through the back screen door–another welcoming sign of home.  And looking through the window Emily sees her Granny A standing over the old wood stove in her pink flowered housecoat singing one of her favorite hymns, Blessed Assurance

The door slams and Emily throws down her bag and takes off her muddy boots. She walks over close to Granny A and gives her grandmother a side hug not to get in the way of a determined woman and her skillet. “Granny A, breakfast sure smells good!”

And Granny Anna smiles and says, “Oh you know the secret of a good breakfast, baby girl.”

“Yes, ma’am–a cast iron skillet, thick bacon, lots of butter, and always peaches. That and slapping any rooster cross-eyed if he gets in the way of fresh eggs.” 


“Good morning Mrs. Walker, I brought your breakfast–your favorites–two scrambled eggs with peaches on the side. I did sneak in one piece of bacon, but that’s all I can do,” Clarice chuckled. “Do you want me to help you get back into bed?”

“If you don’t mind Clarice, can I enjoy my breakfast here in front of the window? It’s such a beautiful day.  I saw bluebirds this morning. Bluebirds make me happy” 

“That will be perfectly fine, Mrs. Walker,”  as she carefully fastened the food tray down on her wheelchair. “You just ring that bell for me when you are done and I’ll come running!” 

“I know you will. Thank you dear.  Clarice, what day is it?”

“It’s Sunday, Mrs. Walker.”

“No, I mean what’s the date today?”

“Oh, it’s the nineteenth of April,” Clarice answered. 

“I thought so. April 19th changed my life. I’ll never forget that day. It’s hard for me to keep up with dates anymore though.  Have I ever told you my story–about the nineteenth day of April?” 

“No, ma’am. I don’t believe you have.” 

“I will someday soon, but not today,” her voice weak as she stares out the window. “Someday soon. I promise.”

Clarice reaches for the afghan on the bed and places it on Mrs. Walker’s lap.  “Remember your granddaughter is coming for a visit this afternoon.  You should get some rest before she comes.” 

“Is he coming with her?” Mrs Walker asked Clarice.

“I’m not sure who you are speaking of, Mrs. Walker?” 

“Oh, Clarice, that’s right,” Mrs. Walker said with a puzzled look. “You haven’t met him yet.  And how many times have I told you–please call me Granny A.” 


A humble thank you for reading The Saturday Journal.

My prayer is to share The Saturday Journal every Saturday or at least bi-weekly--

but always on Saturdays. If you would like to have The Saturday Journal come to your email box, please subscribe to A Beautiful Grace blog and newsletter at

All photos @copyright Tathel Miller, unless otherwise credited to another photographer.

1 comment

1 Comment

Oh I can’t wait for more of this story! It’s going to be a good one.


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