This week I’m honoring my Grandma who is 91 ½ years old. This past week has been filled with heart-stirring memories of long ago summers spent at my Grandparents house in northern Minnesota. They lived on the bank of the Rainy River not to far from where it flowed in to the mouth of Lake of Woods. Each summer we would spend at least a week at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, we were always filled with anticipation at the thought of all the adventures that we would have. We had cousins who lived close by and so we knew that we would have time to swim and fish with them. We loved to get prepared for a special hunt in which we would collect frogs and toads of all shapes and sizes. We would grab our buckets and run down the ravine as fast as we could to gather the frogs with our hands, it never occurred to us to use a net. It was a challenge to catch the slippery and sometimes slimy little creatures. When we would tire of the chase we would run to the orchard to see what we might discover amongst the branches.
At night-time we would sit and talk to Grandma and Grandpa about life, faith in God, and we would love to hear about the stories of their child hood. They taught us a lot about God and trusting in Him. They shared their love of nature with us and taught us how to respect God’s creation and to take care of it. All of these things coupled together with what they had taught our Dad and he shared the same lessons with us.
I have marveled this week at the memories that keep spilling to the forefront of my mind. Breath taking moments from so long ago but I can recollect them like it was only yesterday. These memories of my mind that I have held dear to my heart are so close that I can almost reach out and touch them.
My Grandmother’s mind is beginning to slip. The strong Matriarch of our family is now no longer able to stay by herself. My Grandmother is the oldest of 11 children. They lost their mother when they were young and so Grandma became the “Mother figure” to her siblings all of these years she has kept track of them, bossed them around, prayed and cried with them, and said good-bye to them as they left this earth to join their Savior in heaven.
Grandma and Grandpa had four children; and little Joan died when she was four month’s old. She was called a blue baby and there was nothing the doctors could do to fix her tiny little heart. Grandma and Grandpa spent all of their money trying to find help for their precious little one. There was no money to buy a camera or to even afford having her picture taken. They never had a little picture to remember their sweet little baby girl. They found comfort in knowing that their little lamb was in the arms of Jesus, and that some day they would be with her forever.
Grandma is always taking care of someone and now she needs the care. It will not be easy and it is more painful than words can describe how it feels to know that Grandma’s mind is not the same. I talked to her for a little while today and she kept saying how good it was to hear my voice. We talked and laughed together for a little while. There are some things she can remember and other things that she cannot.
Grandma knows Jesus as her friend and Savior and my prayer is that she can hold on to that sweet comfort and joy in the days and months ahead.
I will share some more ramblings and memories in my next couple of writings of an amazing woman, of whom I honored and blessed to call my Grandmother.