The deep furrows traced on her gentle hand reminded me of a fresh-plowed field of sod. As she cuddled my newborn brother, I marveled at the difference time and trials had made in her wrinkled skin, once so fresh and soft. I held his chubby hand to hers, and realized what a priceless gift I possess in her. I contemplated the difference in their palms; one life just dawning, and the other growing dusky and dim. My mind wandered through all the sweet memories I have of our special relationship…..
…..”Dranny, tan do outside?” the little girl with bouncing curls begged eagerly. ” See, shoes!” “We just went outside ten minutes ago!” the indulgent granny laughed. “Are you sure you want to go again?” “Me twime on wocks adain. Pwease, Dranny? Me weally want do outside.”…..
…..”Wook Mama – dere’s Dranny!” shouted the excited child from the shopping cart, pointing towards an elderly lady with white hair who vaguely resembled the said granny. “Shhh, that’s not Granny, sweetheart,” remonstrated the laughing mother. “Dranny, Dranny, hi Dranny!”
Sad indeed was I when the lady didn’t turn out to be “Dranny” after all…..
Though I remember little of those days when Granny babysat me, the few memories I have of them are among my most cherished. Even though now I see her less often, I often think how blessed I am to have a great-grandmother still living.
Granny was born during the Great Depression. She enjoyed a relatively peaceful life, but she did not lack her share of struggle. Throughout the course of her many years, Granny began to doubt some of the religious beliefs her family held, and searched the Scriptures to find the truth. She eventually came to see many of the traditions and doctrines her church and family held in a new light, and as a result she became estranged from both. She sacrificed much for her faith. Like silver, Granny was tried, and was found worthy.
Granny married a Minica in 1941. God blessed them with three children, one of whom is my grandfather.
Each time I talk with Granny, I am impressed by her godliness and how God has worked through her life. She is almost 92 years old – I know that every day with her is precious.
One memory of Granny that particularly stands out in my mind was at my thirteenth birthday party over a year ago. In our family, we have started a tradition of throwing a womanhood/manhood party for the one turning thirteen. One of the highlights of the event is when my parents and other mentors share words of advice and encouragement with us, and invite others to do the same. I specifically recall Granny’s words, sitting because she was too weak to stand for long, her loving eyes fixed on mine. She spoke of when she cared for me as a toddler, and how I never wanted anything to eat but bread and peanut butter. She analogized that memory with Matthew 4:4, which speaks of how we should rely on God’s words even more than our daily bread. She encouraged me to always lean on the words of God. I could see how she applied that to her life, which made her words much more meaningful to me.
Thinking through these things as I sat there, I resolved to spend more time with Granny. I looked thoughtfully at her aged palm that had soothed teething babies, hand washed laundry, cooked thousands of meals, cleaned hundreds of messes, held the Book of Books for hours upon hours, been folded in prayer, and I wondered. I posed the little baby hand next to hers, each one so very different and special. I decided to take advantage of this great gift from the Lord, and use the little precious time I have with my only remaining great-grandparent. Now, while I am young, and my spiritual “skin” is still fresh and unscarred by the world, to be able to interview the years that have gone before me, and gather what wisdom I can from the lessons she learned in her life – this is not a privilege to be taken lightly.
Though many of you who read these thoughts may not have living great-grandparents, or some of you even living grandparents, I urge you to learn from your parents and other elders! When they are gone, their years of wisdom will be gone with them, never to be found again. Question them, unearth long-buried lessons from their failures and their triumphs, their struggles and their victories. Soak in their stories, never get tired of listening to them speak about their lives. Do not spare any pains in order to learn as many things from them as you can! You will be glad you did.