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My only daughter, our youngest child, just turned thirty, has
had a baby girl, and they are here staying with us while she rests. In
our family our sons have had no children, so laying the not-yet-one-hundred-days-old
eyes like her paternal grandmother's
nose like her maternal grandmother's
ears like my father's
hands and feet like my mother's
while the way she stops crying on being bathed
and quickly regains her dignity
is like her grandfather.
My family claim that I enjoy taking a bath so much that I never skip a single day. Since childhood, when there was no bathroom in our house, I have been in the habit of washing my face, hands and feet before going to bed each night.
But nowadays as this old grandfather looks back over a whole lifetime, there is a sense of regret at his neglect in washing his heart. For although Confession offers all that is needed in the way of heart-cleansing, for lack of frequent washing the dirt has accumulated, the skin has cracked, a scab has formed and grown rough, until now no matter how much you rub and scrub, it refuses to become clean and soft. Which is why this grandfather's only hope, and prayer, is a fervent longing that my granddaughter may learn to enjoy washing both her body and her heart.