I am incredibly blessed in the Grandmother department. I grew up with close connections to both of mine. They both taught me a lot of lessons in life that I think about and use every day.
My Grandma W. lived on a farm and was the world’s greatest hostess. I have a love for cooking and guests that I am certain came from her. I cannot think of a time I was ever at her house even for a short hour when another visitor or family member didn’t stop by. Her house was a hub of familial celebration and energy. Grandma was from an era in which women were primarily housewives and moms, but she always was most encouraging of my educational accomplishments and efforts. She always said there was no rush to get married, go to school. She wasn’t anti-marriage, she was pro education. I was touched to learn this past year that she was a college student herself in the 1940’s before she married my grandpa. She was a smart, quick-witted woman who loved books and puzzles and games. She was also very involved in her community with the library and working the polls on Election day. Everyone in the county knew who she was and respected her.
I saw her less often, but Granny R. is a huge influence on me, too. She was widowed fairly young, and faced some challenges that were not easy. She overcame them with a lot of grace. When I think of her, I think of her as adventurous, interested in everything, and a woman who has incredibly deep faith. Her faith is something I admire so much. She really faces things with God by her side and that is something I try to do, too. Granny is someone who I know walks the walk in her daily life. Recently I read about Jesus saying, “Let your yes be yes and your no, no.” I think that is very true of Granny. She is straight-forward, honest, and direct. You know exactly where you stand with her, and there’s no beating around the bush. She is quick with an “I love you,” affection, and a good listening ear. Now that I’m in my 30s, I find myself talking to her woman-to-woman more and more and it is so special that my lifelong love for her has adapted into an adult friendship as well as a grandmother/granddaughter relationship.
Grandma W. went to heaven last February, so I don’t get to call her up anymore or go visit her. I miss her a lot and think of her frequently. But losing Grandma in my life, as well as her declining memory prior to her death, made me appreciate my time with Granny even more.
Granny is still very vivid and strong and that’s a blessing that I do not take for granted for one minute. I lived out of Kansas for 14 years so I didn’t get to visit Granny in person much during that time. But now that we’re only 5 hours away, I make a bigger effort to visit her and make sure my kids know her. In the past few months we’ve spent two weekends with her and I am so happy my children now have a relationship with her as well. Granny R. collects giraffes and the other day JB was playing animal hunt outside with EB. I asked him what animal he should hunt for next and he said: “I’m going to catch a giraffe for Great Granny!”
Your blessed-by-family protégé,