Some of my best memories involve sitting near my grandmother and listening to her stories. Nobody will ever or could ever tell a story like her! Some of my favorites were so amusing mainly due to her delightful laughter. Grandma sometimes laughs so hard that she can barely finish her tale, which I absolutely adore! One of these narratives stands out in my mind for that very reason. I have heard it countless times, and it never gets old. When my grandmother was a child, her family had prayer meetings in the home. The neighborhood folks would come over and have their spirits set aflame by the Lord, praising and praying. At the end of the meeting, the preacher stepped out back to the outhouse. Unfortunately for him, it was dark outside, and the young boys had not felt the Lord so much as the devil’s temptation. They had moved the outhouse back several feet, leaving the inevitable hole in the ground filled with…well, you can image…directly in the path to the outhouse’s new location. The preacher went straight down into that hole and became covered with…well, again, you know…and was not a happy man of the cloth, spitting curses over his predicament. Grandma always says, “He went in a Christian and came out a sinner!”
I have started writing down all of the stories Grandma tells me, because I want my daughter and my future grandchildren to hear them. Grandparents are a living bridge between the past and the future. They are literally the living embodiment of your family’s stories and histories. When we hear these tales, we learn whence we come. Grandma opens my eyes to a different way of living…when times were more difficult and triumphs harder fought. She has given me heroes and heroines to mold myself after, and the best part of that is that they are a part of me, as my own family. These people and past situations were the creation of the soul of our family. Sometimes the cast of characters is exciting, unnerving, heroic, fallen, amusing, happy, and sad. It is good to know of those who came before, as they provided us with the lives we live today.
I adore hearing of my grandparents’ courtship and early marriage. There is truth to the saying “all because two people fell in love.” Due to that love, they had three dynamic daughters who went on to give them four loving grandchildren, who found their own mates, and so far have borne a great-granddaughter and (soon to be) great-grandson. As more generations appear and flourish, I want Grandma’s stories to live on and be the dreams of fireside tales and holiday remembrances. Grandma taught me along the way the kind of person I want to be, to mimic her lively nature and caring heart. When I fall or fail, I never have any doubt of her unconditional love and support, the heart of which was revealed to me as a little girl, sitting on Grandma’s knee.
Relish your own family stories. They become a tapestry of history and love that weaves you closer to those you love, giving you both roots and wings. Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever.