Giving a ‘shout out’
By Cheryl Copeland
A young girl's sweet sounds echoed in the shower as her mother reached in and turned off the water. On a school night, all good things must come to an end, even if the entire house was enjoying her Taylor Swift sing-a-like concert.
Wrapped up in her Little Mermaid towel, the young girl batted her best puppy eyes as she begged and pleaded for her mother’s permission to watch her favorite television show. Despite her melodramatic efforts, it was not to be. Defeated, she dawdled her way down the hall to the bedroom where she transformed from a mini-mermaid to a pink princess. Next on the schedule: brush teeth.
Standing in front of the sink in her favorite pink footy pajamas, the young girl pressed the button to her princess toothbrush. A preprogrammed song began to play and she lifted the toothbrush so that the bristles could spin their magic. Two minutes later the song ended and then, after a few swishes and spits and a huge grin aimed at her mother’s approval, she grabbed the towel and did one final swipe to dry up any water left behind on her face. Mission accomplished.
Making room for the young girl, a family of stuffed animals was rearranged on the bed as her mother nodded with a sweet softened smile. As if on cue, the little girl began to sing the sweetest prayers. After finishing her song with an extended high-noted ‘Amen’, she thanked God for the many blessings she and her family had received that day. She continued with a family tradition and gave God the names of those among her family and friends that needed an extra big hug. Regardless for their reason, she wanted to make sure that God was sent in their direction.
With prayers complete, it was now time for final hugs and kisses to be exchanged. The mother sweetly moved in to hug her daughter and give a Good Night kiss. Little did she know that her nightly schedule of events was about to be forever changed.
“Mommy, wait! Don’t you want to give Grandma a Shout Out?”
“I’m sorry…Give who…A what?”
“Mommy, you know! A Shout Out! You can tell your Grandma ‘hello’ in heaven!”
The mother giggled and gave her daughter a smile. She had heard the term 'Shout Out' used before, but they had never been a part of the nighttime prayer routine. This was clearly a new concept!
The mother listened as her little angel continued to call out the names of people she loved that had left the earth and moved on to heaven. That evening’s Shout Outs were given to both Great Grandmothers, and to several other family and friends that had recently passed away. It was easy for Mom to enjoy the moment. The more she thought about giving her “peeps in heaven a Shout Out,” the more she realized that her daughter had just taught her a very important lesson.
As the final Good Night hugs and kisses were exchanged, her mother hugged her a little tighter and even snuck in a few extra kisses. Mother and daughter gave one last, "Good night! I love you." She was grateful to have more time here on earth with her daughter.
For the next several days the young girl would end her evening prayers with, “So, Mommy, who are you giving a Shout Out to in heaven tonight?” The concept was awesome and the way her daughter spoke the words was simply perfect!
You can reach Cheryl at firstname.lastname@example.org