I'm a little gun shy about these challenges, an article means something different to me, than the creative writing pieces I have read. But the title “Grandparents” was enticing and inviting.
Since I am a grandparent and was blessed with two wonderful sets this title beckoned me. Do I write about my own experiences? I penned a short article. It seemed OK but something wasn’t setting right.
The next morning I knew Mamaw was the honored grandparent. There is hardly a day when thoughts of her don’t enter my mind. She was the finest Christian I have ever known. She lived her faith, walked and talked it to any one especially her family and never missed a chance to pass on her love for God.
She could always be seen reading her bible. She knew her hymns and lots of other songs and gifted us with these tunes, in the car, kitchen or where ever. Her home was welcoming and she and Papaw were always doing for others.
Tears are now falling as I think of one of her sayings. “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.” Years later, while reading my bible, I was moved when I stumbled upon Matthew 6:34. I called my siblings; “Hey did you know that was a bible verse paraphrased?"
Leave it to Mamaw to make it about God. She had a hard life but I never knew growing up. To me she was an angel and always loved unconditionally. I could probably write a book about her. I am reminded of Timothy’s grandmother Lois and Paul’s advice to him.
Mamaw was extremely active in her church and taught by example. She looked for the best in others; every thing had a silver lining. I am so thankful she passed on her positive, Jesus filled, attitude.
In her last days, she was never the same after my Papaw died and had dementia and my parents moved her to a real nice nursing home. But alas, she was so independent and would “escape” on occasion.
One day, she dressed in her Sunday best; actually she was always styling and went to the church next door. They were having a big dinner meeting of some kind. She made herself at home, enjoyed the food and meeting and then even got someone to drive her home.
Though reluctant the young man dropped her off. One thing you never did or wanted to do was argue with Mamaw. She had a way of making you believe and agree to anything. There she was at her old house. Luckily or rather, Godly she had left her purse in this young man's car.
My parent’s number was found and he called them. After that, since this had not been her first time, they had to tether her. I laughed till I cried when Mom called me. You see during Mamaw’s last days, I became the parent to my Mom.
She would call from Florida with all the stories, tears and pain and with God's help I would console her. When Mamaw died and my parents decided not to do anything funeral wise, I was devastated. I understand now.
At the time, myself, siblings and the rest of the people who’s lives she touched needed closure. We planned a short memorial. As my brother stood up and talked about her and the word we all knew how to spell, P A T I E N C E, a still came over the church and then the laughter.
My son recited the Serenity prayer, my niece did the Lord's prayer, we sang Fairest Lord Jesus, and I printed up those little funeral cards, with a picture of Jesus and her favorite bible verse… Isaiah 40:31, and then on to Beefcravers, her favorite restaurant.
One of my Mom’s friends called and told her what we had done and how nice it was. You see I didn’t really tell my Mom much, because she was grieving in her own way. She had a little attitude with me for overstepping her boundaries of not doing anything.
“Well Mom” I said, “we needed closure”, “Was your sister there?” “Yes Mom.” She knew darn well my sister was there. We were all there and whether she liked it or not Mamaw got the heavenly send off we wanted to give her.
Gee Mom remember “every tub sits on it’s own bottom”.
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