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Friday, May 2, 2014

What I Learned From My Grandmother {7 Quick Takes}

I grew up in my grandparents' home. My relationship with my grandmother was hard at best. As a child, I knew that she did not care much for me because she told me so regularly. As an adult, I now know that my grandmother suffered from depression. At times it was mild, at other times is was severe, but I believe that she always suffered from it. After I grew up and left my grandparents' home, I forgave my grandmother for the unkindness she showed me, and we built a friendly relationship. She seemed to enjoy visiting with me and my children often, and many times we went out for breakfast. Our relationship wasn't what some people experience with their grandmothers, but I am thankful for what ours developed into. 

Yesterday morning, my grandmother was taken to the hospital. She has been refusing food and water for several weeks, and her blood pressure dropped very low. I visited her this morning, and she does not look well. It was very hard to see her like that. She has not improved in the last 24 hours, is still refusing food and water, and is unable to speak. I held her hand and stayed with her for a while. I prayed for her. And I thought about the positive things that I have learned from my grandmother



Mom-mom Millie and Ralph, 2008



1. Jesus is THE MAN! 


My grandmother would often say that Jesus was her boyfriend. She wanted very much to be with him in heaven one day. She was baptized Methodist but converted to Catholicism as an adult. She did not love the Mass, and she wasn't sure that she agreed with all the teachings of the Church, but she went to Mass every week because she wanted to meet Jesus there. She knew that He was waiting there for her. 


2. Light a candle every day, it will remind you to pray. 


My grandmother loved candles. Everyone knew to buy them for her as a gift for holidays and birthdays. She always said that she lit a candle every day for Jesus. After her oldest child, Pete passed away from cancer, she changed her comment to, "I light a candle every day for Jesus and Pete and I pray." 


3. A garden is not only practical but a mood lifter. 


My grandmother spent a lot of time during the spring and summer in her small garden. She grew tomatoes, radishes, squash, and zucchini. The summer after her father died, a huge tobacco plant unexpectedly grew in her garden. It took up space, but she left it there. She said that it was a sign from her father, a farmer, letting her know that he was fine. I remember how she smiled when she said it. 


4. A good book is the perfect escape when you need to get away but can't leave your home. 


My grandmother never learned how to drive. She was dependent on my grandfather, a business owner who worked six days a week until he was almost 90 years old, to drive her to the places that she needed to go. She spent most of her time at home reading novels, many days finishing one just to pick up another one right away. Her friends would drop off huge bags of used paperback books for her to read. Once she finished them, she would write a short review in the front cover and stick it in a bag. When the bag was full, she would ask my grandfather to drop them off to one of her friends.


5. Daily exercise is important. 


Fortunately for my grandmother there was a YMCA within walking distance of her home. She was a member and would walk there for her aerobics class several times a week. On the days that she did not go to the YMCA, she would do stretches and floor exercises in the living room. Eventually, she asked my grandfather to buy her a treadmill. She used it regularly. 


6. "Every old barn needs a new coat of paint." 


My grandmother believed that a woman should wear make-up every day of her life. Not a lot, but just enough to help her to look fresh and new. When I asked her one day why she put make-up on every morning she responded with the above quote. I was young and didn't understand, so I asked her what she meant. She explained to me that even though women age that does not mean that we should stop caring about our appearance. Women continue to clean our homes and weed the garden, so we should give our appearance the same attention. 


7. Brownies make people smile. 


My grandmother loved to bake. Her favorite things to bake were brownies. She would bake them for neighbors and friends and acquaintances of my grandfather and ask him to deliver them for her. Often she would include a bag of M&M's, too. She would open it and dump them on top of the cooled pan of brownies. The M&M's were her special touch. 




My grandmother turned 90 years old on April 8th. When I visited her on her birthday she did not know who I was. I expected it because she had not remembered me for months. I talked to her, and even did a little dance for her. I know she thought I was crazy, but it was worth it to see her smile. 


I am sure that my grandmother is ready to go be with Jesus, her main man. Would you please pray for her? Please pray for her comfort and her peace. Please pray that she feels God's grace, love, and mercy during her final hours. 


Thank you.





Linking-up at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes.

9 comments:

  1. Praying for your grandmother and for you and your family during this tough time!

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  2. Prayers for your grandmother. I love all the things she taught you..so true!

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  3. I have prayed for her and will do so again. This post is a beautiful memorial to her.

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  4. I will pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for your grandmother. If possible, it would be good for you and for her if you could pray it at her bedside soon. http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/praythechaplet.php

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  5. I really appreciate the prayers. Thank you!
    I love the Divine Mercy Chaplet it is one of my favorite things to pray.

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  6. Thank you so much for this testimony! I've been really struggling with the formality of my relationship with my mother and grandmother, and now that I am older, I am given the chance to get to know them better. I am praying I make the most of it! Thank you for the positivity!!

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  7. Julie, it stinks when relationships with mothers/grandmothers are difficult or hard. I will pray for you and your relationship with your mother and grandmother. I am thankful that my grandmother and I were able to make a negative relationship into a more positive one. It was worth the effort!

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  8. Erica, just from reading this post, I feel like I know your grandmother. She sounds like a really special person. It just goes to show that even though we are all flawed, everyone has special qualities and can teach us many valuable lessons.

    I think you were wise to try to build a relationship with your grandmother, despite the harsh treatment you sometimes received from her growing up. What a great lesson about forgiveness and how it brings so many more blessings than holding onto resentment and hurt. (I think that last name of yours really does describe you.)

    I'm praying for your grandmother.

    (I haven't been stopping by as often lately--in fact, I haven't been reading many blogs at all, because my husband and I have been on the road almost constantly visiting our kids. But reading this really made me miss you--and I'm going to try to get better about keeping up with your wonderful blog.)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Laura. I appreciate your kind comment and your prayers.

      The next time you are in Rosie's (a blog for my mom) area, I think we should meet up. :)

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