There is no way I can describe to you the joy of being a grandmother. I was privileged to attend the births of all seven of you and then spend the first week caring for mother and baby. The bible says that "Children's children are the crown of old men..." (Proverbs 17:6) Our grandchildren are an adornment to our lives. Think of getting all dressed up and then adding the jewelry to your outfit!
You are blessed to know both grandmothers, great-grandmothers, your grandfathers and one great-grandfather. Mamaw is eighty-nine and grandmother is eighty-five. We don't see them much anymore because they live in different states but I want to tell you some things about them. This is part of your family history and one day you can tell your children about them.
Mamaw was born in Kentucky and grew up in a place known as "the land between the lakes." She was a farm girl and loved the outdoors. She said she loved riding horses and being outside with her father. She graduated high school and went to Michigan to work. That is where she met and married Papaw. They lived in Michigan until retirement age and then came to Knoxville where Papaw was born. She was a full-time homemaker and a good cook. She worked very hard caring for her family and it's no wonder her three sons adore her.
Grandmother and Granddaddy were both born in North Carolina. She went into nursing school and worked most of her life in a hospital. Grandmother was not interested in cooking and allowed me in the kitchen at an early age. I loved to cook and please my dad with tasty foods.When I was young we had a housekeeper that cared for us while both parents worked long hours to provide for us. (They had five children.) Papaw worked in a steel mill in Michigan and Granddaddy worked in a paper mill in Savannah, Georgia where I grew up.
All four of these great-grands have given testimony of a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Perfect? No way! But they were hard workers and good parents. One day we will all be reunited in Heaven.
Abby, growing old is a privilege. We are not guaranteed a long life. It is a gift from God. Having said that, I must also say that it has difficult challenges. Having cared for others for so many years, they now need to be cared for. Mamaw is beginning to forget people and other things. Grandmother lives alone and takes care of herself. She struggles with loneliness. What does God expect from us when it comes to them? We are to honor them as our parents no matter what their age. We are also to care for them as the needs come up.
I was able to help Mamaw for years before Papa got so sick. Now she is living with Uncle Steve and Aunt Kandi. I will gladly care for my mother when she needs it if that is what she wants. Whatever I do, it will never be enough to repay them for what they've done for me. Grandparents are a gift from God. Yours have never done anything famous or outstanding but they have all been hard workers and good parents. Pray for us and love us as we do you. Continue to include us in your life as much as possible for as long as God allows. May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. I love you very much.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012