The Guitar – Part III

The heaviness of sleep left his eyelids as Isaac’s Grandfather woke early the next morning. Turning his head he could see his grandson sound asleep on the recliner next to him, the guitar still in his arms. Smiling, Isaac’s Grandfather closed his eyes again…letting the memories of yesteryears overtake him. The warmth of the memories warmed his old bones and he sighed with content before he allowed himself to open his eyes again. His grandson still slept. Not wanting to wake him, he reached for the notepad and pen he kept among his pillows. With one more glance at his grandson he began to write about the guitar.

When he had completed his task, he once again closed his eyes. But instead of traveling to the past he ventured to explore the future – the future of his grandson. He knew in time his grandson would find his way back home. And through these journeys of trouble he’d find a way to make all he went through work for the good of himself and others. And with those thoughts and reassurances running through his mind, Isaac’s Grandfather drifted off.

__________

Isaac looked upon the now vacant bed. The grief he felt upon discovering his Grandfather overwhelmed him still. His body was numb and his face expressionless as he slumped over the bed where he found his Grandfather.

He ran his hands over the blankets, sheets, and pillows trying to find some comfort in them but the comfort he sought eluded him. Sighing deeply he climbed onto the bed, curled himself up in a ball and let the tears fall. As he mourned the loss of his Grandfather, the realization of the death hit Isaac hard. He was now alone.

The next morning Isaac found himself in the same position he had fallen asleep in the night before. His body was stiff as he climbed out of bed and as he stood there in a daze, the events of yesterday replayed in his mind. He rubbed his throbbing temples and his sore body as he gazed around the room. Looking for something to distract him from the numbing sorrow, he decided to make the bed and straighten up the room, but as he began to make the bed a little notepad fell from among the pillows and caught Isaac’s attention. He picked the fallen notepad up and was about to toss it aside when he noticed his Grandfather’s handwriting. Clutching the tablet he opened it and flipped through the pages until the he came upon the stark white pages empty of the familiar handwriting.

Out of curiosity he turned back to his Grandfather’s last entry and to his amazement he discovered it was written on the morning of his Grandfather’s death. Overtaken with the need to find some kind of comfort he began to read the entry:

March 2, 1997

Oh how amazing is God! And how He has rewarded my faith.

Isaac is sleeping now, but when he awakes I have to tell him about

this. That guitar is an answer to years of prayer.

Isaac stood there confused. How could the guitar he had stolen a few days ago be an answer to prayer? He looked at the guitar leaning against the wall, unsure of what he should do next but whatever his next move was going to be he knew it involved the guitar. Walking over to the guitar he somehow felt encouraged, as if his Grandfather was with him and this gave him the boldness to pick up the guitar.

He examined the guitar in his hands hoping against all hope that the guitar he held would answer all his questions. Instead it made him angry. Why must he stand here and search for answers? Why couldn’t his Grandfather still be alive to tell him what was so special about this guitar? Frustrated and ashamed at being frustrated, Isaac firmly placed the guitar on the bed. He then began pacing the room hoping it would help him control his emotions. They seemed to be going in all directions: from anger to fear to sadness and back again.

He was about to give up when he noticed something etched on the bottom of the guitar. Moving closer he realized that someone had carved a word into the wood. Kneeling beside the bed he read in amazement “Isaac 1983”. It was written in childlike print and upon seeing the inscription, Isaac flashed back to a moment in his childhood. It was his fifth birthday and his Grandfather had been acting giddy all day. He remembered how curious he was when his Grandfather brought in a box about the size of himself. When he had opened it his eyes couldn’t believe what he saw. A guitar but not just any guitar, no, it was one just like his Grandfather’s; a twelve string Takamine! And later that night his Grandfather snuck into his room and promised Isaac that when he was old enough he would teach him how to play. It was then that Isaac had inscribed his name. What made it even more special was that his Grandfather had helped and even made sure that he added the date. The memory overwhelmed him with feelings of pride and happiness, those same emotions he felt as a boy.

It also brought back another memory. One that wasn’t as pleasant. It was a dark night and full of tension as his Grandfather entered his room. He was 14 years old and his Grandfather came to him that night with no laughter in his eyes as Isaac had become accustomed of seeing. This night his Grandfather wore a frown, his eyes were dark, and Isaac could see them welling with tears as he was told that his Mother was seriously ill. She needed medical attention and unfortunately they didn’t have the money for it. It was then that his Grandfather reached for the guitar. He said that together with his own Takamine they could get some money to help pay some expenses. Both guitars were sold but in the end his mother’s illness became worse until it overtook her completely and she was gone.

Tears streaming down his face, Isaac cried anew. He wept for his Grandfather, for his mother, but also for the guitar. It brought such comfort to him. It was part of his past, part of him and part of his Grandfather. He remembered the hours he practiced with his Grandfather and he remembered his mother singing as he played. It brought warmth to his soul and he picked up his old guitar and began to play. Into the night Isaac sang his voice rising with emotion as he played the guitar. He was again that young boy sitting next to his Grandfather learning to play as his mother sang alongside his strumming. He knew without a doubt that he would return to the church and fix the issue concerning the guitar. He also knew he wasn’t alone for it was not by chance his guitar found him but instead he believed it was guided back to him by God at a time when he needed it the most.

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