Monday, February 21, 2011

Little Grammy

"I show mercy to thousands of generations of those who love me and obey my commandments." Exodus 20:6

Toasting to the new year ahead, I looked into my husband's eyes and said, "I pray that God allows us to grow very old together that we might enjoy our family to the fourth generation."

Two days later, we received word that the husband of a dear acquaintance had passed away. His memorial service was such a tribute to his life; a godly life full of faith, family and friends; a life enjoyed, full of laughter and good humor; a life full of family that he loved and loved him in return. It was one of those services that you make a mental note and say, "That's how I want to be remembered."

My Little Grammy was like this man. She lived her 98 years surrounded by family, friends, laughter and good humor. I think of her often even though she's been gone for a good 30 years. She was the glue that drew five generations together (at least once) to celebrate her 90th birthday at her tiny house on River Road in Southern Maine. She loved people, especially her family and she knew all of us by name. Her mind was sharp right to the end and always focused on others, except when she wanted to watch her favorite television program, The Lawrence Welk Show. As far as I recall, that was the only time she would ever ignore anyone.

Little Grammy may have been small in stature but she was big in personality and huge in heart. Whenever you entered her home, you were greeted with a cup of tea, a homemade donut or molasses cookie. Then, she'd sit down with you, ask you a question and then listen.

I recall the last conversation we had. I had decided to visit her during my freshman college spring break. As I entered her tiny home I found Aunt Lelia in the kitchen fixing tea and Little Grammy lying on the couch, her fragile body wrapped in a blanket. She still greeted me with her million dollar smile as her aged-with-wisdom hands stretch out from beneath the blanket and beckoned me to sit at her side. Before the tea cup could busy my hands, she clasped them between her own. "What do you want to be when you grow up, Dawnie?" she asked, looking me in the eye and poised to listen.

The rest of the conversation is of no consequence. I answered as any eighteen-year-old college freshman would answer. But why I remember is of consequence. She listened. She was fully engaged in knowing me, her great granddaughter. That day Little Grammy, in the second most needy state of life since birth, passed her wisdom of family relationships to the fourth generation...always love...always listen...always encourage...always dream.

What do I want to be when I grow up? I want to be a Little Grammy who passes God's wisdom, dreams, and blessings to the fourth generation.


  1. We should all have a "Little Grammy" in our lives!

  2. Yes we should. She changed the whole atmosphere of the room when she walked in and changed your heart just by her smile.