Hearing the Voice of an Angel

Hank Mattimore
July 22 2010
Reproduced with Permission

End of a long summer day at the Children's Village. It's nine o'clock and this old guy is pooped. I've had kids around me all day. Timmy needed a one-on-one to finish writing a story. Marie and Sam wanted me to take them to the Dollar Store. Allison and Mimi brought over a vampire movie for me to watch. Tony and I went out for pizza. Mamamia! I love these little buggers but no I don't want to see any of them for the rest of the day.

Time to close my door, maybe have a beer and watch the last two innings of the Giant's game on TV.

There's a knock on my door. Phooey! "Grandpa Hank, I want to show you something." It's the wispy little voice of Serena. "Honey, Grandpa is tired and it's late." "But I just want to show you something." Wearily, I give in. "Okay but just for a minute." Serena is a skinny little ten- year- old who could pass for about seven. She carries a song sheet in her hands. "Grandpa Hank, can I sing this song for you?" Her request startles me; I had never even heard her sing before and kids her age are usually way too shy to sing in front of an adult. Intrigued, I sit down on my easy chair and wait for her to begin. She blushes. "You can't look at me cuz I get embarrassed." Obediently, I look away.

The little girl starts singing softly, almost in a whisper at first.

"The more we get together, together, together,
The more we get together, the happier we'll be
For your friends are my friends and my friends are your friends
The more we get together, the happier we'll be."

I listen to her thin little voice and little by little feel the fatigue of the day melting away. It's the voice of an angel. I am honored that she chose to share this moment with me. "Sweet heart, that was beautiful. Thank you for letting me hear you sing. You can sing to me anytime." Serena beams shyly. Her little-girl face breaks into one of those winning, steal your soul kind of smiles.

I want to give her a hug but she is already headed for the door. "Thanks for listening to me," she calls out over her shoulder. "No, I should be thanking you," I start to say but she has already disappeared into her house next door.

Most of us experience some great moments in our lives - graduation day from high school, first love, our wedding day, birth of a child. These big moments give drama to our lives but then there are the countless little moments. These, some of which only we will remember, are also part of who we are. For me, being an audience of one listening to Serena's song was one of those moments.