Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Grandparent(s) (04/03/08)
TITLE: Golden days
By Millicent Njue
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I had always known her as a bubbly old lady. She always seemed so full of life even at an advanced age. Memories of the times I spent with her still linger on. If I was not enjoying her special corn meal at her hut then I was busy helping her tend to her goats. This gave me so much joy growing up I always looked forward to these visits.
Many were the times that we would sit up late into the night as grandma recounted stories of the past to me as a child. I would sit there in front of a small fire in her hut, listening to the usually ogre related stories transfixed in my stool. This would be coupled with some teachings about growing up that left a mark in my mind.
Grand ma always had a way to the hearts of her grandchildren. It was at her place that one could enjoy times of freedom, away from the parents. There were no rules to break really, because all the children tried their best to be kind to her. Hers was the only place that all the grandchildren could meet up over the school holidays, play all day and do all that one wished as long as no rules were broken.
That was where I learnt first hand to graze livestock in the hills, to climb the wild mango trees and eventually treat myself to a wild bathe in the nearby stream early in the evening before retiring to the hut. Growing up, that was the only place I knew where I could retreat from the pressures of daily life in the safe hands on one who loved and adored me.
All these memories flashed before me as I sat at her bedside so many years later. I had received a call while at work in the city that grandma was very ill. That sent me packing and I had made it at her bedside barely three hours later. The sight of a frail, slow speaking golden haired lady sent tears falling down my cheeks. She had held on to my hand, so glad that I could make it to come see her. For a minute I had wanted to rush into her arms but remembered that she was so weak that I would only have hurt her.
She passed on two weeks later. Silently, in her sleep. Just like that, a light in my life was snuffed out. Left behind were memories of times filled with love and laughter. Times when all seemed sunny and the worries of life would fade as I would sit listening to that golden voice. She left indelible imprints on all her grand childrenís lives. Godís meaning of boundless love and acceptance must be rolled up in the love of grandparents. The bear hugs express it all too well to those blessed enough to enjoy the love that flows therein.
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