Goodbye, Grandma

Thursday evening, my last grandma passed away. She would have been 101 next month.

I thought of that verse in the Bible that says "God knows the number of our days." He knew when he created her in 1908, that she would live through the Great Depression, several world wars, the deaths of most of her family, including a son, and the mind-numbing whirl of technology that leaves many older folks behind.

Grandma Davis, my father's mother, was a lovely, thin, delicate-looking lady who abhorred the sun and never left the house without fixing up. Even when declining health forced her into assisted living, and then a nursing home, she carried the same air of dignity and beauty that had characterized her whole life.

Those same slender hands that were protected in white gloves from the sun and newsprint had also scrubbed bare floorboards, wrung chicken necks, used a washboard, and hauled water to a house with no plumbing. But in every action she took, she was always a lady.

She raised two fine sons, sent one off to fight in a war where no one was declared a hero. In turn, they were devoted to her. She kept her home clean and inviting, but never off limits to the explorations of her grandchildren.

She kept old perfume and makeup bottles for her granddaughters to play with and we would spend hours opening and exploring the contents of her old purses filled with heady-smelling lotions and intriguing containers like they were the newest toys. It was she who taught me to always dab a bit of perfume or lotion behind my ears before bed so you always smelled good at night. I still do that. Now, so do my daughters.

When I think of the word "lady," I picture my grandma. Outwardly delicate, but inside she had the strength of an army. Devoted to family with undisputed moral character, she was feminine even when scrubbing, cooking, gardening, or relaxing.

I'm glad I'll forever have that image in mind of what it means to be a lady. I only hope I can pass that on to my own daughters and grandchildren some day. The world needs more ladies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry your Grandma is gone, but she's obviously left you wonderful, lasting memories. My mother-in-law was the one I remember as a true lady. It's a cliche, I know, but our lives *are* richer for those memories. God blessed us with them for a reason.