He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.~Revelation 21:4 NIV
“First, always keep the thimble on your finger,” Granny instructed.
“But I don’t like it. My finger is too little, and it won’t stay on.”
“You get stuck by that needle one time, and you’ll figure it out.”
Sure enough, the sharp quilting needle stuck my ten-year-old finger. After that, by some grand miracle, the thimble suddenly fit, and my granny smirked to herself.
I have such good memories of spending time with my grandma. In the summers, we had Camp Granny, where the grandchildren came for Vacation Bible School and spent the week with her and Papa. We were up before daylight with beds made, or we better not sit down for breakfast. There were always vegetables or fruit to be picked while there. Every day we helped her after breakfast before it got too hot. Vivid memories of walking through her tunnel of grapevines, hesitant to reach in the thick leaves, knowing a snake or other creature would likely emerge.
Granny also had cats–dozens of feral, slightly deformed felines. Every time we’d visit, she’d say, “Tell your mama if you catch one, and you can take it home.”
After we helped Granny with chores, the lot of us went outside, chasing inbred cats that didn’t want to be caught. Granny knew how to keep a bunch of town kids busy.
Everything was homemade at Granny’s. Lunch was usually left-over meat and vegetables from supper, homemade biscuits, and some kind of cake or pie she had made. Sometimes the vegetables were unidentifiably fried or mixed in a casserole. Jarred pickles, vegetables, and even canned meat were staples at her house. I can still remember the smell of her pantry and see the string to a single lightbulb hanging down inside.
She also loved to play board games and cards. In fact, if you look up the word competitive in the dictionary, her picture is sure to be there. Sorry, Trouble, Scrabble, Shanghai, and Oh Heck, were some of her favorites. Family time was always focused on the dining room table with a gameboard or deck of cards as the main event.
Fishing was something else we did with Granny. She and Papa had a hunting lease at the Little River, and if we were at their house for more than a day, we always went fishing. Crickets, worms, or livers went on our hooks, depending on whether we were fishing at the bottom or the top of the river. But here’s the thing with Granny, she cast her line right beside the other person’s. And she always caught our fish.
“You weren’t holding your mouth right,” she’d smile and say as she reeled in a big ole catfish or hand-sized bream. As aggravated as we got at Granny for catching all our fish, I must admit, she was one heck of a fisherwoman.
Church was also a part of being at Granny’s. She and Papa sang in the choir and led different groups within the church. There were always tons of food and good ole gospel music at Pineview Baptist Church. And those funeral fans on giant popsicle sticks were stuck behind the hymnals on every pew.
My daddy called with the news—Granny passed. Hearing my dad’s broken voice through tears hurt my heart. It’s been less than a year since we lost Dad’s father, my papa, and now Granny’s gone, too.
But she was ready to go home and be with Papa. And I have no doubt that her soul is at rest with Jesus. It’s sad to think of not going to Granny’s for holidays or sitting on the bank of the Little River while she steals my fish. But her body was tired, and living was harder than dying.
As tears ran down my cheeks, I smiled at the thought of her legacy. Granny shared Jesus with all us kids. She made sure we went to church and heard the gospel. She feared the Lord and the fruit was evident. “But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children” (Psalm 103:17 NIV),
I can picture it now: Granny sittin’ up there on the river on a perfect bank right beside Papa, catching all his fish, for eternity.
What kind of legacy was left for you? What kind of legacy are you leaving for those coming behind you?
Thank You, Father God, for godly grandparents and family members. Please help me to become that kind of influence for my children and grandchildren. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2022: Losing Granny: Christy Bass Adams: All Rights Reserved