I remember standing in my grandma’s kitchen, watching wrinkles disappear from the scraps of fabric as I passed the hot iron over each piece. The smell of that steam must have found its way to my brain and created some really deep grooves.
Even today, as I iron a piece of fabric that has never been laundered, the smell of the steam takes me to that kitchen. I can see Grandma sitting at her table, cutting the pieces for her next quilt. I feel like my ten-year-old self, learning to iron by pressing fabric for her quilting pieces.
And while that’s a memory that hits all of my senses, there are many other little details I remember about her. Perhaps I’ll list a few.
- A perpetual pan of biscuits on her stove.
- The pretty bowl she used to make her biscuits.
- Her perfect every time cornbread. (She used mayonnaise.)
- Her ‘arsh’ potatoes in a dark brown gravy. (Arsh is to be translated as Irish.) When I had morning sickness, I craved this. But to no avail.)
- An opened hymnal displaying shaped notes, resting on her piano.
- Her wringing a chicken’s neck for Sunday dinner. (Dinner = lunch.)
- Her jewelry box full of broaches, reserved for Sundays.
- She once made a green velvet cake for Christmas. (See. It’s genetic.)
- A purple poncho she crocheted for me for Christmas when I was in third grade.
- Goober brand peanut butter and grape jelly.
- Her graciously caring for her aging father. She called him Papa. I called him Grandpa Hick.
- The card she gave me upon the birth of my first child, and the practical advice she included. (I still have it.)
- The double wedding ring quilt she made me when I married.
- Her singing alto in the choir on Sundays.
- The row in church, where she and Grandpa always sat. (Because I sat with them.)
- While she had 27 grandchildren, she made me feel like I was her favorite.
- Her Bible always laid open. Always.
We will not keep them from our children; we will tell the next generation about the lord’s power and his great deeds and the wonderful things he has done.PSALM 78:4, GNB
Indeed. My grandmother’s Bible was always laid open on a table next to her chair with her reading glasses on top. (That may explain the green velvet cake that one year.)
Watching her read and study her Bible on a regular basis was the greatest impression Grandma had on me.
Oh, I spent years troubled by the fact that my father, her firstborn, did not share her love of Jesus. That somehow because the family’s Godly heritage had skipped a generation, my faith was lesser than. Oh, I suppose if you had asked him, my father would have certainly said that he loved Jesus. But my daddy’s life said otherwise. And his rejection of or apathy toward a relationship with Jesus troubled me so deeply, I wore it as my own shame for many years. Eventually, I learned that it had never been mine to own, nor wear. (And I think my father eventually returned to the One who loved him.)
But yes. The love I have for Jesus began in the precious heart of my grandmother. How I wish I could thank her today. At my age. With a better understanding of and a greater appreciation for not only for the Godly heritage she handed off to me, but for the faith she modeled for me so well.
Though I cannot thank her today, I want to celebrate my love for her with all of you, on her 113th birthday.
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother, Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.2 TIMOTHY 1:5, ESV
Happy (Heavenly) Birthday, Grandma!