Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: See (07/22/10)
TITLE: Another Place and Time
By Barbara Lynn Culler
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I was a toddler when my family moved across the country from my place of birth and there was no interaction with the relatives left behind. I grew up neither knowing nor missing my mother’s mother. It was not until I moved out on my own that Mom made amends with Gramma and I was determined to get to know this seemingly formidable person that I knew little about.
I was a young adult when I embarked on that 3000 mile journey to her home to meet face to face. Upon my arrival, before I was even unpacked, her work worn hands caressed my face as she felt my features in order to get a mental picture of what I looked like. Relatives that picked me up at the airport provided verbal descriptions such as eye and hair color. We both shared the same color eyes and sense of humor. I liked my grandma right away and she liked me and we became immediate kindred spirits.
That two week stay was very insightful into my own family dynamics. Gramma experienced a rough life and was not one to share of her past, so I had to pry information from other family members. It was then that I understood why both she and my mother had such similar personalities, many of which I, too, tended to display.
Gramma was not a Christian even though her daughters and other grandchildren were believers. My aunt would share the Plan of Salvation, but she wanted no part of religion and time after time, would reject Christ. I made attempts to tell her about Jesus, but she closed her heart. I felt I could be a better witness by being Christ-Like instead of a religious fanatic
After returning home I made frequent contact with Gramma. She often “knew” when I was going to call and she would wait at the phone for me. She was usually right! I would tell her of the adventures I had and it seemed she lived vicariously through my stories.
The years progressed and she began to grow frail and eventually could no longer work or live by herself. As time and money allowed, I would return to my town of origin and it saddened me to see my grandmother losing her spunk. Ultimately she became bedridden with a fractured hip and required to be in a nursing home. All along I kept the cards and calls coming and Gramma loved to hear of my everyday activities.
She died at the age of 87, and I grieved she was not in Heaven and that I would never see her again. However, a few days after her death, I was talking to my aunt and she declared that Gramma did accept Jesus shortly before she died I wanted to believe that, but was skeptical, feeling that it was wishful thinking. I asked God for a sign that indeed, she was with Him.
Two weeks later, it was pre-dawn and I was driving to work. As was my usual routine I was having worship time but my thoughts went to my grandmother. I was stopped at a traffic signal when unexpectedly, from out of the darkness, a great white bird swooped directly across my windshield and then back up into the sky, I knew this was my sign. I knew, because Gramma loved hearing the birds and it was a treat for her to get out of the house to experience their singing. Gramma really was with Jesus!
I still miss her yet cherish the 15 years we had together. She was blind but kept on going. She had a rough life but it never stopped her. She was an example to me of being a survivor and I will get to see her some day when we meet in Heaven. And she will get to “see” me.
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