*** This blog post is extremely emotional for me. As a matter of fact, it comes straight from my journal. I have been waivering back and forth about whether to actually post it or not, and as I am posting it, I feel very vulnerable. Please be considerate in your comments.
My grandmother is dying. So many thoughts have been racing through my head in these last few days. All day long today, I’ve been sorting through memories, trying to understand why I am filled with such confusing emotions.
You see, I didn’t know my grandmother as well as I would have liked. We always lived a long way away from my grandparents, and only saw them once or twice a year.
Most of my memories are formal, proper if you will. As a matter of fact, even the name we call our mom’s mom is formal. Grandmother, not Grandma, Mimi, Maama, or any other soft endearment. Grandmother felt that it was proper that way.
Things in Grandmother’s home were done properly. Sleeves and skirts were a neat length. Meals were a neat organized process. Hair was always neat and in place, and the house was kept meticulously clean.
I don’t remember seeing any emotions in Grandmother’s life except for one time. I never remember seeing her angry, happy, sad, or excited, although I’m sure she was all of these at times. That one time that I do remember seeing her emotion is a good memory that came to surface today as I was trying to sort out my feelings.
I was with Grandmother and Grandfather on what was an ordinary day for them. I was the only “visitor” there, and so I think it must have been the summer during college when I went out to Kansas to work for the summer and took a short pit stop at my grandparent’s home. Grandmother, Grandfather, and I had family devotions together in the morning. Grandfather read a passage from the Bible, and then we knelt next to the bright red chairs to pray. I listened as they prayed for friends, for the pastor, and the church. But then Grandmother began listing off the names of her children and their families one by one to God in prayer. Grandmother cried.
As she prayed specifically for her children and the problems they were facing, both here in America, and as missionaries in Ukraine, she cried. As she prayed that some of her wayward grandchildren would come back to God, she cried. As she prayed that her family would be blessed, she cried. And as she prayed I would be kept safe on my trip, Grandmother cried.
So, although I don’t have oodles and bunches of soft, cozy, good memories of fun and laughter-filled times spent with Grandmother, I know that Grandmother cared about her family and loved them dearly. I know this beyond the shadow of a doubt, because Grandmother cried.