When Life Gives you a Genesis... {Life}

My handyman looks up from proof reading these words about Grandma, and I can already tell what's coming.

It's not quite there.

He says, maybe because he's known his Grandmother his whole life and these words alone couldn't fully capture his delight with her.

There's just so much good she does, he says.

But he has grace with his wife, because how could it possibly all fit here? Even with all her edits?

So here's this girl's feeble attempt to share about a woman this couple admires to the fullest... and counts as this beautiful gift.

So it's no wonder it's racking her nerves to press publish.

Ps. We look forward, every week, to this wonderful tradition of Wednesday-night-dinner at Grandma's.


More than three years have passed since she's lost the love of her life to cancer.

Still she loves him deeply, even though he's gone.

And she's reminded of how he loved her, as she puts on display this old Valentine's day card, which still looks like new, even though he gave it to her while he courted her. 

She treasures it and puts it on display every year. 

I call it the first card ever made by Hallmark... even though that's not entirely accurate.

It's decked out to the nines. With a little scented pouch, which has completely lost its perfume.

Her eyes well up at the memory of him, and she could talk for days about all his antics.

Like the time he would quietly put shaving cream on his face and then surprise and chase his grand kids... smearing the white fluff on their faces.

Her weathered hands waving as she speaks, and this glint is in her eye.

I can't imagine what that would be like... saying goodbye to your life companion, this one you've built a life with. This one you've laughed with and suffered well with.

And then moving to a new city, and starting over in so many ways.

So it's no surprise that she has these pieces of his memory around her home... like these photographs that line her wall, and this pink floral card with it's sachet.

And she still wears her wedding ring.

And she recalls how their wedding day wasn't perfect... but they persevered, and they married on June 5th, 1957.

She was just twenty-years-old, he was a young twenty-one. And they stayed true to their vows and were married for fifty-two-years, bearing three children, and building this honest business.

So how do you continue without this life mate?

I wonder if this girl ever had to say goodbye to this kind man, she would hide and never come out, because she's without this one she leans on.

Grandma must have felt that too. But she buys this home, and she puts a hard floor in the front room where carpet used to be, and she moves in all her sewing machines, and her thread, and her fabric... and she continues to sew.

It's what she loves... she says she's sewn since she was eleven. She was the only one out of her three sisters who loved this hobby.

So she patiently sews together this new life, with some new friends, a new church and new places. She creates something from very little.

And it's far from easy.

But she creates the most beautiful masterpiece... even from this loneliness from losing the one she loves.

After all, life is short she says, and she wants to be content with whatever she has and wherever she goes.

She prepares this mid-week meal, every week, and her daughter and her husband, and her children, and their spouses come together to enjoy.

She reads about these recipes in magazines, and she doesn't hesitate to try them, and her family are these willing guinea pigs to indulge in all her new inventions in the kitchen. 

And she faithfully teaches the little ones at church... lovingly preparing these crafts and games and Biblical teaching.

Very little could prevent her from being there every. Saturday. evening. And the children love her, and wave at her when they see her in the halls of church.

And she teaches these women, who have migrated to this country, how to sew and make a living so they can provide for their families.

They make these beautiful aprons, with vibrant fabrics, and Grandma so patiently teaches them and passes on this love for sewing.

I remember how she hemmed my off-white wedding gown, with just weeks to go... and she brought comfort to this concerned bride.

And she was our miracle-worker when she made a bridesmaid dress fit my eight-month-pregnant maid of honor.

She's this woman who comes to anyone's rescue.

Grandma moves in next to her daughter, with all those sons, and she purchases all these sports channels. And she puts this ping-pong table in the rough part of the basement.

She knows the direct route to their hearts... sports and food.

And she sits with them, and watches the puck and the players, and she almost looks like she knows exactly what's happening.

She makes us laugh from deep in our bellies... with all of her own antics that I'd be unwise to mention here.

So she makes this imprint on our lives... that I don't know how we ever lived without her.

And I wonder how she laughs like she does, and how she has this strength to go on like the small motors in her sewing machines.

I've never asked her where this strength comes from.

But I think I know.

Her belief is in something so much more than her own strength.

I think it's those weathered hands who so frequently fold in prayer, and that hold that open Bible with it's words that she reads over and over.

She says she's read the Bible right through several times... and when she ends in Revelations, she flips back to the beginning of Genesis just like Grandpa Richard did.

And so she closed this final chapter on her life with her Valentine.

And she makes this new beginning, like her own Genesis.

And she gives Him her aching heart, and she believes for great things, as she hems her day in prayer.

She sews forward with this brilliant thread.