05 September 2005

Memory Lane Monday

So this time of year is always about my Grammy Charlotte to me. Her birthday was September 2. I originally started writing this post that day. But then I couldn't find a picture of her in electronic format to go with it and LightHusband was out of town and his scanner wasn't hooked back up from our vacation, and ... there were too many hurdles. So I let it sit and see if I were going to post it. If she were still alive, she would have turned 104.

Yesterday (Sunday) we went to our church's annual cookout to celebrate it's birthday (or is it an anniversary for a church?). It turned 4. I did some checking. And it's funny to me that I now go to a church that started it's formal meetings on the very day that my Grammy Charlotte would have turned 100. You see, for my whole growing up, she was my "God" connection. I know my other grandparents went to church, but she was the one who really had it. It was her older brother who sent me "Guideposts" for years, which is a really good, evangelical thing to do. But she did the loving, Jesus-y things always and I didn't recognize them til it was too late and most of her mind was gone.

For I was brought up in an atheist/agnostic home. God was dead there. The only people who needed God were people who were somehow weak. Grammy needed God and she was pretty open about her relationship with him, so it was insinuated that she was a little weak minded, but we still loved her (wink wink nod nod).

She was the best. But I didn't appreciate her as much as I wish I had when I was little. She was a picture of unconditional love. A small picture of how I think God must love us. She didn't care about what I looked like, or how I acted, or anything ... of all my grandparents, she almost never corrected me, she just loved me. She did things like let me set her hair while she took a nap. With sponge rollers. This doesn't sound terribly sacrificial until you know that I soaked each sponge roller in a bowl of cold water and did not squeeze it out before rolling it her hair in it. So I rolled her hair with dripping wet, cold sponge rollers because I didn't know that the sponges were there because you were supposed to use them on wet hair; that they soaked up the water from wet hair. While she was taking a nap. I was nine. The next year when I went to stay with my grandparents, her doctor had put her on a diet. So she put me in charge of her diet. That is crazy. That was way too much authority to give to a bossy ten year old. I thought far too much of myself as a result of that ... but she did lose weight. I'm very good with someone else's diet. Very strict. With my own, not so much.

It's a very good thing that I had my Grammy. Without her, I'm not so sure I'd know God now. I'm not so sure I'd have been as willing to listen to Him when I needed to. I certainly would not have a real life example of how to be happy in all things (not that I'm very good at following that example ... I complain all the time). I'd just be a much worse person than I currently am, without my Grammy Charlotte. So ... as LightBoy used to say when he was learning to talk ... Hoppy Doopy, Grammy Charlotte.


Blogger kate said...

That's beautiful. One thing I love about stories like that is how, when people are older and a lot of the artificial, surfacey stuff -- the stuff society values -- is stripped away, their real value shines forth. If only we were wise enough to let that happen earlier.

9/05/2005 12:51:00 PM  

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