I was a child of 7 when our family moved to a new house in Brooklyn, New York that was closer to our cousins, grandparents and the family business.
When fall arrived, I was to start the 1st grade and the public school was one block away from our new house. My father, wanting to teach me independence, walked me down the block to the corner and pointed to the big school building across the street to show me how close it was and that I would have to walk there everyday.
He rehearsed with me how to go there a few times and would say, "See that mailbox? When you come to this corner, walk to that mailbox and the school is right there."
Nowadays, no one allows their children out of their sight, but back in the 60s, parents routinely let their children walk to the store alone, walk to school, play outside unattended, etc.
So on that first morning, he walked me to the mailbox where the school was and he said, "Now when you finish school, go back to this mailbox and look, there is our street." And he pointed to the way back to our house.
Iím sure I said, ďOK, Dad.Ē
Well, after school ended that first day, I did indeed go the mailbox, but I was talking with a new friend that I just made and walked with him in the same direction he was going, but he was going away from the street my house was at.
Even at a 7 year old, I was following boys and being led astray!
My friend walked to his own home, but then I was by myself and realized I didnít know where I was.
I was LOST.
I walked several blocks, but still didnít recognize anything. I started crying and through my tears, kept looking for anything that seemed familiar to me. The streets were empty with no one in sight.
After walking straight a few more blocks, I took a left turn and went down one block and there at the end of the street was a silhouette of a very tall old man with the sun behind his head.
I looked up and it was my GRANDPA and he was standing right on the corner where the family restaurant was!
My family owned a restaurant 6 blocks from our house and somehow I had walked right up to the restaurant only it was through the back streets BEHIND the restaurant, a route I had never taken before.
(My parents had always walked with me on the main avenue to the front of the restaurant.)
My grandpa HAPPENED to be walking to the restaurant at that time and suddenly there he was, right in front of me! He was a lovely man and I always remember him smiling. I canít ever think of a time when he wasnít smiling at me.
My grandpa took my hand and brought me into the restaurant where he gave me a treat and called my parents to tell them that I was with him. I actually remember him talking to my parents on the phone, baffled at how he had bumped into me on the street by chance.
All these years I took it for granted and it wasn't until I really sat down and thought about it did I realize it was the hand of God!
I believe God guided me and my grandfather that day, with my little steps leading right up to him and he was there at exactly the right time to see me coming. I could have walked down a different street and missed him completely or a few minutes later and he might have walked into the restaurant and we would have missed each other.
What a miracle! It is amazing for me to think that God had His Hand on me, even then at 7 years old, guiding me to safety.