My grandmother didn’t talk much but when she did, her words were memorable, and her sayings live on: She was the Yogi Berra of the family. For instance . . .
Whenever you were ready to leave after a visit, Grandma would always say, “It’s nice of you to visit, but I’m glad you have a home to go to.” (Meaning––we hope––that she was happy we could afford to have a roof over our head not that we were going.) Now each family parting is accompanied by, “We’re glad you have a home to go to.” (Meaning varies with family member.)
She would always sign her letters with Romans 8:28: “And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good . . .” which later morphed into “All things work together for good––we hope” until the verse was dropped completely and replaced by John 21:18, which reads in part, “And someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Grandma was a practical Christian.
After one particular family unknowingly outstayed their welcome and said they were going to visit a friend for the morning and be back for a light lunch, Grandma responded, “No you’re not.” To this day when visiting each other, we all announce that we are going to “stay for a light lunch.”
But my grandmother was also her own person. She knew what she wanted and was not deterred by others' thoughts or opinions.
On a simple note, she always set the table for breakfast the night before, no matter how many times she was told she could do it in the morning. (You would think we would have learned.)
When her younger brother was injured, she had to stay home with him for a couple of years, delaying her high school education. But she was not discouraged. She began high school when most her age were graduating and earned her diploma when she was twenty.
Then resolute about becoming a nurse, she did not say yes to her pending marriage proposal until she had earned her nursing certificate and practiced for a few years.
When one of her granddaughters wondered why only the grandsons were allowed to be pallbearers at Grandpa’s funeral, Grandma quickly told her that she could be one at her funeral, which led to all the pallbearers at Grandma’s funeral being her granddaughters.
My grandmother was a godly woman but sometimes forgiveness came at a high price. Once she was heard to say, “Mr. (X) never called, but we love him anyway.”
And regardless of the magnitude of the problem (whether a lost button or a lost soul) you could hear her say that she would “put that in her prayer book” and then we would find her on her knees in her bedroom.
Though all of Grandma’s actions and words have impacted her family, it is this last statement (that I never even knew she had said until my mother told be one day) that, to me, is most important and life changing. She once told my mother . . .
“Your soul needs the quietness of the day to recall all your blessings.”
Thank you Grandma.