Sliding down into the seat, I felt the rhythm of the rails counting off the miles beneath the train. The sun was just peeking up over the eastern sky; streaks of azure, crimson and gold glowing like party lights, chasing the night away.I couldn’t believe that she was gone! My beloved Granny was dead.
Closing my eyes, I remembered sitting beside granny, on this very train. When I was a child, in the summertime, I would spend a whole month at Granny’s house. She’d come to get me on the train then we’d ride back to the city together.Comforting myself with memories of times we’d shared, I turned to face the glowing sunrise.
Once, as we rode to granny’s house, I couldn’t have been any more than 5 years old, we’d watched the sunrise together. I’d asked her how you could tell a sunrise from a sunset, because the colors were always the same.
Granny threw her head back, laughed that marvelous laugh and said, “Honey, if you just woke up and started the day, it’s a sunrise. If you’re done with dinner and sitting on the back step thinking about the day you just had, it’s a sunset.” Such grandma wisdom always amazed me. Grief washed over me like waves thundering on the seashore. I turned my face away from the window, letting the tears cool the emotional heat in my face.
I remembered when granny got her first computer, about five years ago. We opened the box together. Then, I set it up for her, got her connected to the internet and committed myself to a weekend of bringing my granny into the techno age.
Granny loved research; she had a stack of “look it up” books. When I introduced Granny to search engine technology she was stunned! All that information floating around out there, waiting for her to call it down into her computer; she couldn’t believe it! Then, and this was SO like granny, she turned, looked me in the eyeballs and said, “Kinda like the world’s version of a Bible I guess.”
Confused, I asked her what she meant. She said, “God’s Word has the answer for every question about living. Everything I need to know, right here, written for me to use as reference for everyday life. How to handle being mad, what to do when I want to be bad; all right here, in God’s search engine”. The Bible as life’s search engine, only my Granny could come up with something like THAT!
A tear escaped down my face as the grief washed over me in waves. I always knew I was her favorite, even though she swore she loved all of her grandchildren the same. We had a connection, a kindred heart, she always called it. She said it was because we were so much alike.
When I was a little kid, granny taught my Children’s Church class. She did outrageous things like wear two totally different socks; one red sock and the other one a purple and pink striped sock. We kids would howl with laughter and she acted like she had no idea what we were laughing about!
When one of us would point out the odd socks, she’d look down, as if shocked and clap her hand over her mouth. She’d let out a squeal and proclaim, “On NO, I did it AGAIN!” Every kid in the class would be laughing till they could laugh no more! Then, and this was SO like Granny, she’d turn and say, “Kind of like God’s children, we’re all different but we’re all special!” My Granny could find God in any circumstance; whether tragedy or victory, sad or hilarious, Granny could make it point to Jesus.
As the train pulled into the station, my heart ached in the knowledge that Granny was not there to yank me up and kiss me all over my face and hug me tight. I tried to hold the tears back; my heart ached to hear her laugh-- one more-- time.
Later, at her house, her beloved Bible lay on her nightstand. Memories of recent evenings spent over coffee, sharing how God’s search engine, the Bible, helped us in everyday life made me smile.
When I opened it, I found a picture of myself, anointed with tears that she had cried over me as she prayed. Holding her Bible tenderly against my breast, I hurried to catch the evening train.
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