"Give ear and hear my voice, listen and hear my speech." Isaiah 28:23
His beautiful sky blue eyes looked down into mine as we sat together on that old porch swing. He was belting out melodies of church hymns that I recognized and I would sing along as we passed the time on those warm and breezy afternoons. We didn't talk much, just sat in each other's presence, acknowledging the bond we shared, him being my grandfather and I his granddaughter.
Harlon Bonds was his name. Like I said earlier, everyone noticed his bright blue eyes as soon as they approached him. Tammy got those eyes (I wonder if she knows how lucky she is?). He was a hard working man, as far as I know he worked out in the fields all of his life. Back breaking work that demanded a lot of time and energy and tons of sweat. He wore overalls most every time I saw him. He loved his apple orchard and was always giving us girls green apples as a treat (Maw Maw's fear of them giving us tummy aches never stopped him from sharing).
Paw Paw walked everywhere he went, never owning a driver's license. He would leave the house on Sunday morning while I was there visiting for the week, and return later in the day, carrying a new tune (I learned later he had been to church, never missing a service).
I was only seven when he passed and I didn't know until years later that he was hard of hearing, to the point that Maw Maw yelled her every spoken word in his direction, causing me to think she was always mad at him. You see, his eardrums burst when he was a baby, leaving him in his own little quiet world.
He seemed to be a man of very few words. I don't recall hearing him ever really carry on a conversation with anyone, which made sense after finding out about his hearing problem. But I do remember times I would see him sitting on that old swing talking with someone...that I couldn't see.
Even though Paw Paw Bonds lived his life not hearing our voices, one thing is for sure, he could hear his Father's voice. Oh, the conversations they must have had (if that old swing could talk). I believe he had a direct line to God because I know that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and I think that my Paw Paw's heart broke a little bit each time I tried to talk to him. He would have loved to heard his granddaughter's voice as I sang to my heart's content on that porch swing beside him.
I can just hear him now singing with that heavenly hallelujah chorus, praising his Lord and Savior (and listening to the most amazing melodies he ever did hear). Praise Jesus!
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, What joy we have to look forward to the day we get to heaven. All the loved ones gone ahead of us just makes it a sweeter place to be. Most of all, how I long for the day I see You face to face and hear Your warm voice call my name. Thank You for a Paw Paw that sang me those old gospel hymns I now get to sing with my grand babies. I will always rejoice in You! In Jesus' name. Amen.