Grandmothers—God’s rare and vital breed. Think whisperers of hope. Am I telling the truth? You know it. I’m not quite sure how old I was when I fell in love with Granny. She had rosy red Santa-Claus cheeks and arms so gentle you’d melt in her embrace. However, don’t let her pushover smile fool you. If you ever played a game of penny-ante poker with her, she’d take you down. I’m not kidding.
Riding a Greyhound bus in 1966, Granny arrived at our home in Oneida Tennessee. I remember well, bringing more than a suitcase, her presence was just what we needed. Calmer winds rejuvenated our souls with a breath of fresh air. Hugging us tenderly, she gave composure and order to chaos. Climbing onto her pot-bellied, crisp-clean-apron lap, I felt warm and safe. I thought, ‘everything’s going to be okay now’.
To be sure, a Godsend to our lives, Granny was unfailingly cheerful, without self-pity and gave needed attention to all five of us at the same time. Widowed, she harbored no bitterness or guile. I see her beautiful face right now and can’t wait to climb on her lap again one day [for a very long time].
The occasion for this particular visit was the saddest day of our lives. We were devastated because dad had a heart attack while operating a bulldozer and it turned over on him. He died at age 43. I was 15. Mom, my three brothers and I would never be the same—each of us dying in spirit. Besides all that, didn’t God care?
Yes, He cared—He knew a sparrow had fallen. He sent Granny to comfort us like no one else could. I think of how she must have felt; unable to ‘fix’ the pain and suffering. Yet, she offered what she could; herself. Along with love, understanding, and patience. The difficulty of watching loved ones suffer must have broken her tender frame. If she cried herself to sleep at night, she hid it. If she asked, ‘Dear God, why,’ we weren’t privy. Logic failed her. Perhaps Granny knew about Father Abraham’s dilemma with sacrificing Isaac. When reason vanished, Abraham trusted God, “who, contrary to hope, in hope believed” (Romans 4:18 NKJV).
Don’t know, but one thing’s for sure, Granny readied me for untimely catastrophes. In good times or bad, I watched her become as still as a hurricane’s eye. Even now, I lean upon the wisdom she exemplified and hope to be like her when I grow up.