11 October 2008

I randomly saw my grandma at the grocery store today.

I was driving home and remembered I needed coffee creamer. I made a u-turn and sped up to the green light. I had just been thinking about grandma on the ride home and how I wished I spent more time with her, visited her more, perhaps even stopped by her house this afternoon.

As I walked into the store I saw her short, petite swaying body walk through the automatic doors dressed in her typical ankle length skirt she's worn since I can remember. I quickly tried to catch up with her, hoping I wouldn't startle her.
"Hi Grandma!" I hugged her as tenderly and lovingly as I could. She hugged me a few times, each time a little longer.
"Well Hello." My grandma says. She always says that. I could tell she had been crying, but I never asked what was wrong.
"What are you getting here?" I inquired.
"Oh, I just need some creamer." She responded in her laughing-voice she often uses.
"Me too!"
We walked back to the dairy isle and made small talk. I asked about Grandpa, she asked about John. We made jokes about creamer.

I can still feel the knot that was in my throat as I walked with my grandma to the checkout line. I can remember her character so clearly. The love she always showed, the million games of Skip-o we would play when I was a kid, the tender hugs, soft kisses and thoughtful birthday cards. And her laugh. That sort of awkward, soft laugh that tends to trail into the next sentence.
She's getting older. Her memory is going. She'll be driving somewhere and forget where she's going. Grandpa loses his patience and makes her feels horrible. All of this is going on, but she is still in there. I still see her. My mom is panicking about how she's changing and how they need to move into a home, but I still see the spunk and spirit and love she has in her. I wanted to hug and and kiss her cheek only to say, "Don't give up yet, just hang in there a bit longer." She is one of the hardest working women I have ever met in my life. She took a train across the United States by herself when she seven because her dad had tuberculosis and she had to live with her Aunt in Arizona. She raised seven children. She ran a chicken farm with my grandpa and when her kids were in school took a second job to help make ends meet. She took care of her own mother after she had a stroke and later passed away. She is a pillar of strength and an example of a woman of God. She is incredible. I pray that Jesus will bless me with half of her genuine smile, honest concern, hospitable nature, creator of incredible food, story telling ability, singing talent and tender heart, if He wills it.

My mom thinks she's "fading fast" and "who knows how long she'll be around." but I won't believe it, not yet. When I see her sweet smile and loving demeanor I can just see God's not finished yet. There are still things He has for her here. In His time, I know she will be re leaved, but until then I think I should just visit her more.

доброй ночи.


Bridget Beth said...

So precious. Perhaps your chance meeting was God's way of saying that you are a lot like her. It's not every day you happen to get creamer the same exact moment as someone else! It sounds like she has a beautiful spirit..and so do you :)

Spiro said...

how does bridget beat me to it? i guess from the very first moment i hugged you and said, "you remind me of my sister" it was meant to be.

love you, mel.

Roxanne said...

He certainly does have her here for a purpose. Betty is such a joy and a dear sister in Christ Since my first days at WABC, she has welcomed me like one of her own grandchildren. And you do share her spirit.

Kristina said...

I'm going through similar emotions and memories with my grandparents right now. this was delightful yet sobering to read.

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