Friday, March 10, 2006

My Grandma is One Hundred Years Old

The strangest thing about writing daily in a blog like this is that most people I know in real life have no idea that I do this. It's odd because blogging is such a mainstay in my life, yet I don't talk about it to relatives or local friends.

So, to the forty relatives I saw tonight at Grandma's birthday dinner: "I write in a blog every day." Ha.

My husband had to stay home (secretly he was happy to miss a family event) with our two sick kids. I took my twins and they had a great time playing with their distant cousins. The dinner was at a church facility which was set up for youth in one room--so there was an arcade basketball game, a pool table, video games, etc.

My grandma looked tiny and fragile in her hot pink jacket and permed white hair. But I sat close to her and we had a little private conversation. Her mind is completely intact and I suppose she feels twenty-two inside, just like I do. I was happy to be the one to fill her coffee cup.

So many cameras were flashing that I asked my grandma if she felt like a movie star and she answered quite seriously, "Well, I wouldn't know." I doubt she could even name one movie star. I doubt she's ever seen a movie. She's from a different era, a time when good Christian women wouldn't dream of setting foot in a movie theater. She is aghast when my mother goes shopping on Sundays.

My grandmother raised six children in the '30s and '40s. The Great Depression affected them very little since they had so little anyway. My grandfather was a preacher and devoted to his calling and my grandmother supported him without complaint every day of their sixty-one years of marriage. (He died on their sixty-first anniversary.) My most enduring memory of them together happened when I stayed with them one week when I was about eight. I peeked out of my bedroom just in time to see them standing in the kitchen in a long embrace. I had never seen my own parents embrace.

For a child who grew up in a divorced household, this steadfast display of affection and love offered hope for my own future. My grandparents are the finest example of Christian living that I know. My grandmother, even at one hundred years of age, continues to pray for me by name every day of my life. She cannot see. She can barely walk. She lives alone in a tidy little house with a garden planted with primroses in a neighborhood sliding into disrepair. But she prays and listens to the Bible on CDs almost continuously.

I've always felt like her favorite granddaughter, though she has dozens of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Shhhh, don't tell my cousins. Grandma loves me best.


Blogger Sue said...

I was here on delurking week and several times since, but todays post really was so moving to me! My own dear Grandpa is 97 and I would so love to see him make it to 100! My parents also divorced (after 35 years of marriage) and my grandparents were the glue that held us together during that hard time.
Happy Birthday to your dear Grandma and as sweet as you sound, you very well may be her favorite!
I'll be back again,

8:14 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

Hooray for Grandma! Did you guys get her one of those certificates from the President?

We could have gotten one for my grandparent's 60th, but they actually didn't want it due to the current officeholder. :)

8:39 AM  
Blogger violet said...

I'm so happy you got to go - and serve your grandma coffee! My own mom is 91 (don't try to figure out how old I am; she had me late! - she had all nine of us late!!), and I can relate to so many of the things you describe. Mel, you have a blessed heritage!

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Stacy said...

I really enjoyed this post, Mel. My grandmother was my hero, the one who loved me like my parents didn't, the one who always had time for me..... Sadly, I lost her last August at the age of 87. She was locked inside herself, unable to see much or hear and she'd stopped saying more than a word here and there a few years before. I miss her. I'm glad you got to be with your Grandma and fill her cup.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Julana said...

You, me, and your grandma, 22 inside.

2:16 PM  
Blogger EmmaSometimes said...

oh, mel! You are soo blessed to have her! I could tell you my long story of my lack of grandparents but I won't. Just treasure every minute and I wish her the best birthday ever!

My friend DaPoppins is now blogging! You will love her, really. Her blog is at:

3:35 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

I'm my grandma's favorite too :)

5:57 PM  
Blogger The Daring One said...

I hope I live long enough and well enough to have a lunch like that.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Barb said...

Your grandmother sounds amazing :) Happy Birthday to her.

I too blog "in secret"......I don't tell anyone I know about my journal...not sure why, but I don't.

Have a great weekend.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Angi said...

My family knows I blog, they just don't know where. HAHAHAHA.

I'm envious of your relationship with your grandmother. Both of mine passed before I was born. how about giving her an extra hug from me.

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Deborah said...

Happy Birthday to your grandma. What a great treat it must have been to be able to share precious moments with her.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Isn't that so wonderful when a grandparent has the ability to make each granchild feel as though they are her favorite? Not that you're not actually her favorite, because obviously you must be, I mean you are. Yes, you are definitley her favorite!

Oh, nevermind. Happy Birthday Mel's grandma! :)

9:39 PM  
Blogger Praying for your Prodigal said...

Happy Birthday to your Grandma! My Grandmother was a life-line for me as well. Although she died whenI was only 10 years old--her lasting legacy has remained in my heart. What a difference Grandma's can make!

Hugs and kisses to your Grandma!

10:42 AM  
Blogger g said...

This is a great post and I am so glad I met your Grandmother (albeit indirectly) Don't you wonder what life was like for your grandparents on a day to day basis. How did they manage to shine for sixty one years?

3:36 PM  
Blogger Shalee said...

Wow! I know that I missed having that kind of relationship with either of my grandmas. I wish that I had that wonderful wealth of love and knowledge to draw from as well.

Since I don't, I can only hope to be that kind of inspiration to my children and hopefully their children too.

I want to be the "fun" grandma!

I am so happy that you had that wonderful time with her. She was probably just as blessed to have you near.

1:24 PM  

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