For the Love of Grandma
I woke up thinking about my grandma Whitehead the other morning, as I saw her so vividly in my dream. She was wearing a brightly colored floral dress that my mom had sewn for her, smiling sweetly as she looked across the room at my gramps. She adored him. You could see it as she looked into his eyes, and the feeling was, without a doubt, mutual.
My gramps was prone to teasing me, and a fish tale could move from 10 inches to 5 feet in just a matter of seconds. He repeatedly looked to grandma to support his fabrications, “Isn’t that right Helen?” he’d say, and not wanting to dampen his playful mood, she’d simply reply, “Now Roy”, in a high squeaky squeal.
They were a force, the two of them. A hard working, fun loving, good-natured pair, who loved the Lord, and loved life. They were smart too. Gramps could fix anything, and grandma, she could make the world’s best chicken and dumplings in her kitchen, or bake a full Thanksgiving feast in the little oven of their travel trailer.
Traveling with grandma and gramps always included a few stops along the roadside for coffee and cookies or a picnic, and tucked in the backseat floorboard was a large coffee can for emergencies. I’ll just leave that right there for you to ponder!
Now, when I think about grandma, I generally picture a gentlewoman, and grandma was, for the most part in my memory. But there are things about grandma I’ve learned as I’ve grown into a mom and grandma, and I thank the Lord for it. As perfect as I’ve tried to be, I just haven’t always felt I could measure up to the memory left by my grandma. Life happens, and our responses to that aren’t always sweet replies. It turns out, grandma had a favorite four letter naughty word, and once, when my uncles were playing a bit too rough, threatened to pull one’s arm off and hit the other over the head with it. Shocking, I know. But so real, and I love that.
I love that grandma had a glamour shot taken, and felt beautiful in it. I love that grandma sometimes let her temper get ahead of her, and as mad as I was then, I love that she didn’t mind tattling on me when I stuck my tongue out at my mom. I loved her smile, which lit up every room, her contagious laugh, her pretty hair, and yes, even those flabby, yet huggable arms that I inherited.
When I think about grandma, I think about a poem I read, taken from Psalm 139.
Art Appreciation by Joy Morgan Davis
Lord, Sometimes when I look At my life It seems like a homespun Patch-work quilt . . . Quaint, but not quite “together”!
There are bits and pieces of Cloths and colors, Scraps of material, The days of my life . . .
When you began to put together The days of my life You must have known Where each piece would go . . . You’ve told me that I am Fearfully and wonderfully Made . . . And I believe you, Lord, I do!
I may not be a velvet tapestry, But even crazy-quilts Have purpose, To give warmth and Cozy comfort and Color to a room!
Whatever I am, Lord, You made me. Lovingly, Carefully, Reverently, And exactly right!