Monday, September 29, 2008

She

A tribute to my grandmother on her 91st birthday

She was the smell of sizzling bacon when you woke up in the morning. She was the faded housedress and seasoned apron. She was the one who called you to meals and welcomed your friends for dinner. She was the mender of clothes, the voice you heard before you fell asleep, and the one who made your house - your home.

She was yours.

She was grilled cheese, goulash, corn bread, orange cookies, and the world’s best potato salad. She was hot dogs for breakfast, if you wanted them, and thick slices of ice cream for dessert.

She was the calm comforter who cared for you when you were sick. She was the voice of reason when your world spun out of control. She was your safe harbor, your rock, and your lighthouse as you navigated the waters of life.

She was yours.

She was our biggest fan. When we were born, she celebrated with our parents. She was the always available last-minute-babysitter. She reminded us not to slam the door, throw the gravel, and that the outhouse was not a toy.

She was ours.

She cheered our accomplishments whether they were straight A’s or top spots in athletic achievement. She gave advice when asked and listened and loved unconditionally. She played Kings Corner or hide and seek, and always had a Tootsie Roll or cookie for the… undernourished.

She was ours.

She is the pink-cheeked, white-haired friend they see every Christmas. She is the soft kiss and surprisingly strong hug they’ll always remember. They bundle up in coats and hats and sing “To Great-grandmother’s house we go,” as they travel to see her. She is the hallways that smell like disinfectant and the room that still smells like sweet orange cookies.

She is theirs.

They climb up in her nursing home bed and talk to her like their dearest friend. They watch those clear beautiful eyes absorb their childish troubles and offer comfort in hugs and simple words. In her presence, they are honest, unburdened, and strengthened.

She is theirs.

She is morning prayers, the worn Bible, and carefully written out devotional thoughts. She is Sunday services, hymnbooks, and well-worn church shoes. She is the nursery worker, Sunday School teacher, and universal grandmother to countless children.

She is a life still lived in service. She is the witness, the proclaimer, and the gentle persuader. She is the Book, the Word, and the Message in all she does. She is a child of the King.

She was yours.
She was ours.
She is theirs.

But mostly and forever, she is His.

11 comments:

Rebekah said...

What a sweet post! It brings back many memories.

She wasn't my grandma, but that's what she was known by, and what I still refer to her as to this day :)

~Rebekah

a joyful nusiance said...

That was beautiful!

Alice said...

How lovely! These sentiments seem to fit a lot of grandmas, but they are all unique as well. Happy birthday to her! (and mmmmmm...orange cookies. Is there a recipe?)

Colleen said...

This may offend some who have written other things about grandma, But yours was absolutely the best. It just summed up all the best things about her. Thanks for sharing.

Robin Hayes said...

This moved me to tears, Ann-Marie. Beautiful.

Juliet said...

Enjoyed by all of the family at her birthday celebration.

It is truly beautiful and true.

Deb said...

Thank you so much for that...
I wish I could have been there to celebrate with you all. I, too, remember some of those things about Grandma. You have such a gift with words, Ann-Marie.

Sun-Kissed Savages said...

wonderful. And...gotta ask...was she from the south? 'Cause all of that sounds like southern cookin' to me! ;-)

The Beard Bunch said...

I love her so much! Thanks for the words. Did you write all that on your own......seriously. To add to the cooking (which by the way was not Southern), remember the chocolate cookies, chicken and dumplings, peach jello, spaghetti, and homemade salad dressing.

Charity said...

Also remember pancakes and homemade syrup and I always got to drink cherry juice when she watched me when I was sick. I also remember laying on the hallway floor by the furnace to feel warm! She is so much to so many!

CANDICE said...

What about grilled cheese and chocolate milk? I alway's got that when i was sick... any one else remember being sent out to pick up sticks? Man I got all the bad jobs or I just really annoyed her..Lol She is our living legacy.