Monthly Archives: August 2009

What is Great-grandma’s Legacy?

Richard’s mom’s gone home to Heaven. Forgetting she couldn’t walk, she’d injured her foot trying to get out of bed. Just a small scrape, but the resulting infection, although treated with antibiotics, had raced through her system—and set her free.

Great-grandma had wanted to go home and “see Daddy” (her husband) for so long—even though I’d tried to encourage her that as long as she was here, God had work for her to do. She’d normally lit up, although for briefer and briefer flashes, when Richard or I went to see her. But the flashes became flickers as her system prepared for shutdown.

So what is Great-grandma’s legacy to Tommy and Tina?

They won’t remember her, but they’ll see pictures of her holding them and see the delight on her face. Although she tended to feel insecure around adults, Richard’s mom shone with babies and small children.

I hope they will read her story as she gets older. She was a shy country girl who went to the city to find work at the age of 18, became a partner in a dairy/milk delivery business, met Christ as her Savior and Lord, and met a handsome young college student in the home of one of her customers. She and this man were married for 55 years. Then he entered eternity, and last week she joined him.

Richard’s mom told her children stories:
* of life in a tent before the family shack was built
* cutting down trees to heat their tar paper shack
* the tornado that picked up their house and set it in a nearby field
* riding bareback to round up the cattle
* calling up the chimney for her Christmas gift, a little iron
* bringing water from home on skis or horseback for the schoolchildren
* the schoolhouse where she shone as a student, winning prize money in an essay contest and buying her very own horse.

She and her sister used to walk a sickly boy to school and back to protect him from a bully. This sickly boy was later healed and became an evangelist.

Mom also remembered a cure for a bad temper: immersion in a tub of hot water, ice cold water dumped over her head, and then off to bed!

Her auntie rode the open prairies on an ox to round up the cattle, and her sister learned to work in a restaurant even before she went to school.

Her brother learned to ride a horse standing up and, along with another naughty boy, turned chickens loose on a passenger train one Halloween.

In my next post, I’ll tell you about her memorial service, and the surprising revelation from our nephew.


Time Stands Still

There are days when time stands still and the moments, in all their richness, lift our hearts in gratitude to the Maker of time and eternity.

Tina and I are playing in the back yard. We are concerned. The grasshopper is turning in circles on the gravel. Is it injured? Tina brings it a blade of grass, which it ignores, so she tries some freshly pulled weeds. Finally the insect gives a big jump, and we breathe a sigh of relief.

And how about the spiders? They seem to be falling off the garage roof, but then we see them climbing back up.

The ants are busy doing their work, and the butterflies . . . how they tease! I wish all you grandpas and grandmas out there the joy of watching a three-year-old in leaping, dancing, laughing pursuit of a butterfly.

And we play with the gravel. The gravel, you ask? Of course the gravel! We collect pretty rocks with stripes, sunshine sparkles, spots and varied colors. The large rocks are school buses and Sunday School buses, and the little rocks ride on them to kindergarten and Sunday School.

Lunch and naptime follow, and after Maria comes home I leave to resume my other duties—shopping, meal prep, housework . . . . But the memories of rippling laughter, creative play, and compassion to the least of God’s creatures live on. Tommy and Tina will not be little for long, but the God Who gives me such joy with them now has given me much in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

“ . . . the living God . . . giveth us richly all things to enjoy;” I Timothy 6: 18

The Wordsmith and the Mechanical Genius

“I clean my nose,” Tommy tells Lisa.

“Oh!” she exclaims. “Your nose is bleeding.”

“I clean the bleed,” Tommy answers.

Did Tommy really try to change the verb “bleeding” to a noun, “bleed”?

I think he did. And I think he’ll be a wordsmith when he grows up.

“We were surprised, weren’t we?” Tommy asked one day. A pretty advanced question for a 2½- year-old, I’d say!

When he was a very young two, Tommy asked me, “Where’s my vitamins?”

“He’s two,” I reasoned. “He can’t know the word ‘vitamins.’ Maybe he’s asking about something else.

“I don’t know,” I answered.

Tommy tried again. “Where’s my pills?”

He gave me a synonym, thinking I might understand it better!

Even as a tiny girl, Tina tried to pry a toy apart with a spoon and showed great interest in the little wheels and wires at a toy and hobby store. When we were brushing our teeth one day, she noticed a screw loose in the medicine cabinet. Brushing stopped as her little fingers turned that screw until she was satisfied that it was in properly. And for some time now, she has enjoyed buckling her teddy bear into her car seat.

I suspect Tina has her mechanical genius dad’s gifts, and Tommy’s gifts are more like Maria’s and Lisa’s. Tommy and Tina are still very young, of course, and we don’t want to label them. But it will be fun to see how they develop.

  . . . unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one . . . . ”

I don’t know if Tommy and Tina are one talent, two talent or five talent people, but I earnestly hope they will one day hear the words, “Well done thou good and faithful servant

. . . enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Matthew 25: 15, 21