My Grandma was my biggest fan. I don’t remember a time when she ever had anything but love for me. Even when there were times that I am sure I got on her last nerve, she was always there, always ready to love, always looking at me with that sparkle in her eye. My Grandma was the most giving and unconditional person that I have ever known. She oftentimes would go above and beyond her own strength or abilities to make sure that her family was loved, no matter what. Let me tell you a little about her… she’s worthy of remembering.
My Grandma never seemed to lose her temper. She would sometimes threaten to “cut a switch” when we were running through the house or ignoring her words to “behave”. But, she never did. The great thing was that she taught us how to respect her through her love, not her fear. She treated each of her grandchildren with unconditional love. I never remember feeling a time that I felt unloved or that others were loved more than me. She had a way of spreading her love around in a way that made each of us feel special – even me. You see, I was a bit mischievous and was always getting into something or finding a way to explore somewhere I wasn’t supposed to be. She seemed to understand that and always was there to love me in spite of my mistakes. I remember many times when she would come to my rescue or wink at me when I was getting scolded for something by someone else. I always knew that while she didn’t approve of my rebellion, she loved me through it.
One time I remember going over to my Grandma’s house after school. We oftentimes stopped by on our way home and she and my Grandpa were always sitting on the front porch and we would sit out and talk to them. Oh, we wouldn’t necessarily stay long, but we would stay just long enough to talk, reminisce about the old days, and then go home. We also usually had time to at least have a snack as my Grandma always had something in the kitchen to eat. She loved providing for her family. One time I remember coming into her kitchen and feeling the growling in my stomach from a long day at school and hoping that she had something to remedy that. I remember my Mom saying, “Don’t eat anything because we’re going home to have dinner soon.” However, I knew my Grandma had something in her refrigerator that would hold me over until dinner, and that she did. I opened the door and found a plate of homemade fried chicken, wrapped neatly in cellophane and ready for me to grab a piece. I struggled… wait until dinner, or go ahead and sneak a piece – what should I do? I decided to grab a piece and run. I lifted the cellophane ever so neatly and grabbed a wing and a leg and scurried off to the bathroom to devour my prize. My Grandparent’s house was an older house with wooden framed windows and the old screens that latch with a small hook and eye in the window sill. After eating my find, I had to dispose of the evidence. So, rather than throwing the bones in the trash where I was sure they would be found, I decided to open that screen and toss them out the window into the backyard. My tummy was full, my hands were clean, and the evidence was safely out of sight… at least that’s what I thought. I failed to notice that I hadn’t re-latched the screen.
What I didn’t know was that my Grandpa soon went into the bathroom and came out exclaiming “Someone was trying to get into the house because the bathroom screen was unlatched.” Of course, this caused great alarm and then everyone starting searching around the bathroom and outside the bathroom window for evidence of what could have happened or who could have unlatched the bathroom screen? My heart sank when I heard my Mom say, “There are chicken bones out here!” Mmmm, interesting… could it be? A chicken-eating intruder that left his evidence as he was crawling out the window?” No, unfortunately, all eyes fell on me and I couldn’t keep my secret any longer. I confessed, my Mom got mad, but my Grandma had that twinkle in her eye. She came over to me and she said, “You can have as much chicken as you want – I know how much you like it.”
I know this story may not mean much to you, but being the chicken-eating bandit in my family was just a part of my adventures and one of the many times that my curiosity and mischievousness got me into trouble. And, it was also one of the many times that my Grandma came to my rescue and loved me still. There are many other stories and many other times that her eyes twinkled. She was a woman of great love and hope. She would love all of her grandchildren in such a way that you thought she must know you personally and she made sure she saw each of us. Her giggles would light up a room and when she smiled, her whole face smiled. She would sometimes giggle so hard that she would lose her breath and the warmth that came from her was catching. My Grandma was a picture of my Jesus and for that Grandma, I am truly thankful.
Grandma, I just want you to know that you are missed. I think of you often and hope that you are having a blast in heaven. I hope that you are enjoying gardening, fixing everyone your homemade fried chicken, and doing as many crossword puzzles as you like. Your memories are knitted into my life just like the crocheted blankets you made for all of us. My heart was blessed by your love and your memory. You are truly one of the Saints that has gone before me. I long to see you someday and I know the twinkle in your eye will still be there. Jesus, give my Grandma a hug and tell her I’ll see her soon.