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REFLECTIONS: October/November 2023

by Katie Butler Johnson

I see it all in my mind’s eye.

It’s 1997. Grandson Logan is about 3. He’s running up the jetway from his San Antonio flight to DFW. He breaks into a smile as big as Texas when he spots me waiting by the gate.

His mom, daughter Beth, is just a step or two behind. Their plane was making a brief stop before continuing on to where Beth’s work would take her. The stopover lasts just long enough for Beth to bring Logan to me. I scoop him up. Beth disappears back down the jetway. Logan and I watch and wave as her plane taxies and takes off.

Funny how that is - can’t remember where I put my car keys or what I had for breakfast, but can clearly see that little guy racing towards me - arms outstretched.

Logan and I met Beth’s plane several days later for her return stopover to pick him up for their return flight to San Antonio. Grandparenting in the late 90’s - that was a simpler time - before all those security rules made meetings like that impossible.

I remember Grandma duty in San Antonio with 4yr old Logan and baby Eden. I’d turned on the water full force to fill the tub for Logan. The handle broke off in my hand. I couldn’t turn the water off! I had visions of a flood like in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice on Fantasia as the tub filled faster than it could drain. I called the fire department. HELP!!! They arrived promptly - dressed for disaster - boots, slickers, hats - with siren blaring and red lights flashing. They marched through the house to the backyard, quickly located the water turnoff and saved the house from flooding.

I didn’t tell my daughter and her husband about the incident at the time. Can’t remember exactly where they were; I think it was an anniversary trip to New Orleans. I didn’t want them to worry or rush home. I’d handled it. Got a plumber out. All was well.

Upon their return, they called from the airport to say they would be home shortly. I told them Logan was at a friend’s house. They stopped to pick him up on the way home and asked him if he had fun with Grandmommy. He said yes . . . and . . . the BEST part was when the FIREMEN came at night with lights whirling and sirens blaring. Needless to say, I had a lot of explaining to do.

You may be wondering where I’m going with this trip down memory lane. Well, today I’m feeling a little like Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof”: “Sunrise, sunset quickly go the years” - years that have given me memories that seem to pop up randomly. With four children, ten grandchildren and two great-grands, I’m blessed with a wealth of those memories.

I think I know what has me focusing on memories with Logan recently. He married his Amanda just last month. I’m still on an emotional high from their wedding. There must have been a fairy godmother somewhere waving her wand and orchestrating that day because Logan and Amanda’s wedding was beautifully planned, flawlessly executed and joyously celebrated.

Logan found his Amanda when they were students at Colgate University. They’ve been sweethearts ever since. She is a New York girl who married her Texan in July 2023; I was a New York girl who married my Texan in August 1961. For me, their wedding was déjà vu – 62 years after my wedding.

It’s a blessing to be present at important moments in a grandchild’s life journey. One makes memories that last forever. And it is deeply meaningful to be present at weddings to witness and celebrate the budding of a new branch on one’s family tree.

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