Last week in small group we discussed wisdom. We were all asked a simple question, Who is/was the wisest person you know? As we went around the table we all answered the question and gave reasons as to why we thought the person we chose was wise. We then watched a video with a message out of James. At the end of the video we were asked again who was the wisest person we knew? My answer stayed the same: My Great- Grandma.
Man what I would give to have one more talk with her. But I must say I am blessed. You see my Great-Grandma lived to be 102. She was born in 1903 and passed away two weeks after her birthday in 2005. I was fortunate to have her around my enter childhood and then into my adult years. So in honor of her and her always welcomed wisdom this post is about her.
Grandma was a firecracker. She loved the Lord, and her family with every ounce she had. She loved to sing praises to our Lord while she cooked or washed dishes. I remember going to my mamaw’s after grandma moved in with her and hearing the two of them singing songs like, “I’ll Fly Away”, “What a Day that Will Be”, ” How Great thou Art” and “Mansion over the Hilltop” while in the kitchen. Those songs still ring in my mind as I do the dishes and cook for my own family now. She always had a warm hug and smile to greet us as we walked in. And there was always food on their table just in case someone stopped by. She was a homemaker, wife, mother to seven children, grandmother to 29, great-grandmother to 51, and great-great grandmother to 20 (that’s where my two oldest fell in). She was a sister and she was a friend.
She lived through so much while here on earth. She lost her leg at a young age but that never slowed her down. I remember one visit with her where my oldest son, maybe three at the time, went to climb up on her lap so he could get some candy, she always had candy. I told him to be careful and she looked at me and said, “He can’t hurt this old wooden leg(as she knocked on her prosthetic leg), let him get up here and help me eat this candy” My son laughed and climb on up. From that day on, every time he went to climb on her lap he knocked on her leg to made sure it was the “old wooden one” and every time she would laugh and say, “yep that’s it now come on up we have M&M’s to eat.” Her love for my kids, and all of her grand-kid’s was unconditional. She never complained about not having her leg, she only gave praise to God for allowing her to be where she was at.
When I got pregnant at the age of 18, she did not turn her back on me. While others thought I was way to young, heck I thought I was too young, she never judged me. Many turned their backs on me, she comforted me and let me know things would work out. She never stopped loving me. She told me not to worry what the world or other people thought of me, that if this baby was on her way then she was meant to be. “God does not make mistakes” When I told her I was naming my daughter after her, she made me promise to never call her “Lizzy” like so many people called her. I personally don’t think she liked the nickname but she never said a word. “Always call her Elizabeth, there’s power in that name young lady…power” she said. And you know what, she was right. She taught me so many life lessons in the kind caring way only a grandmother can. If she could only see baby girl now, I know she would be proud. 22, graduating college, moving off to find her place in God’s big plan. We did good grandma we did good.
I wonder what she would think about the path we have chosen? I wonder what she thinks about all the new great-great grand-babies I have added to her legacy? I wish they could have met her and shared a piece or two of chocolate with her. I hope when she looks down from heaven I make her happy. She helped install a love for others in my heart, a love that ultimately led me to become a foster to adopt parent. I can only hope and pray I became half the woman she was.
Her laughter was contagious. Her heart always full of love. Her advise always welcomed. Her stories and jokes always left you wanting more. She always called me baby girl, maybe that’s why I still call Sie baby girl. Oh, what I would give to have her hug me one more time and tell me things will be alright.
She loved to cook. She loved to quilt. She loved to swing on the front porch and watch the cars go by. She loved to watch the neighbors come and go. She loved to clean and cut up Ramps for meals in the spring time, then laugh because she thought she stunk. She loved to see others succeed in life. She loved to provide comfort when life throw curve balls. Her hands had made thousands of meals, wiped away billions of tears, and cradled many. She loved flowers, and watching the rain. She loved to watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. She loved me.
The last time I visited her she was laying in a hospital bed. The nurses and doctors said she was in a deep sleep, coma, and that she come not hear us. My mamaw, a few of her siblings, and I sat around her bed. A group of singers came to the room and asked if they could come and sing for her. Someone asked if they knew any gospel songs, to which they replied yes. As the group sang and all of us in the room joined in, I saw my great-grandmother’s mouth move slowly. And I smiled. Even though the nurses said it was a muscle reaction, I know my she was singing with us one last time. I know she was. After we sang a few songs it was time for me to go pick up my kids from school. I kissed her forehead softly and told her I would be back later that evening. By the time I got the kids picked up and dropped back off to my aunts, she was gone.
I am thankful I got to sing one last song with her, I am thankful for all she taught me, I am thankful that despite me flaws she loved me anyway. I am thankful she was mine. I hope you are pleased with the way I have turned out. Baby girl loves you always, until we met again.
From our beautiful chaos to yours, take a walk down memory lane every now and then. Its good for the soul.