Tuesday, January 31, 2012
I find myself taking time to reflect as today would have been my grandmother's 100 birthday. She passed away in May of last year at the ripe age of 99. Her's was a life that began in poverty as the baby and 13th child of a Georgia dirt farmer. It was a life of hard work at home, on their own farm and picking cotton with her brother and sister's for the families income.
Their home was a simple one lacking any amenities or conveniences, including indoor plumbing. Still her reflections of life were happy ones. She grew up and married a young country doctor. Together they had two daughter's, my mother and her younger sister. Life was good until it threw them a curve. An influenza outbreak caused my grandfather to spend long hours for days on end tending his patients with endless housecalls. He eventually contracted the flu himself, but set aside his own needs to treat those in his charge. Coming home one day, exhausted he laid down to nap and never woke up. The endearing note made by my grandmother in my mothers baby book reflects this event stating, "The angels came and took daddy to be with Jesus 6 days before my 2cd birthday".
At 26 she was a widow with two young girls to raise. They went to live with her sister Mil and her husband. They lovingly helped raise her girls as she had to be away in training to become a nurse and then for the first years traveling the counties of South Carolina as a public nurse. She married again when my mother was 8, and eventually had a boy and girl. Life would continue as she raised her family, worked as a school nurse, volunteered her time in a variety of civic activities and faithfully attended Grace Baptist Church until her strength to travel there failed only a few months before she passed from this life. She loved and cared for the man I knew as Granddaddy until his death 7 years before her own.
As I reflect over all that she saw and experienced in the world during her lifetime and her personal story, I marvel at the strength of character and her many qualities. She was an active person who continued walking for exercise even when that meant using her walker and carrying her oxygen bottle in the halls of the living facility she eventually moved to. She regularly visited with others who weren't as mobile as she was. An avid reader she finally resigned herself to listening to books after the lack of oxygen from her failing heart caused her not to be able to maintain concentration.
Her most enduring quality though was the faith she placed in her Lord and Savior Jesus. She leaned on Him to see her through the trials and help her know the direction she needed to live each day. It is such a comfort knowing that when all was said and done here and she slipped off the frail body that carried her in this world and took up her new body free of limitations that it's this same Savior she trusted and loved, in whose arms she was welcomed home.
On the radar screen of the world, Granny's life was barely a blip. To her family whose very existence depended on her and to those she cared for or befriended, she meant the world. It is amazing the ripple effects a life can have, for good or not. As I reflect on and celebrate my grandmother's life I take note of the qualities I especially want to incorporate in my own life.
In Galations, Paul uses the analogy of life as a race, that he was determined to finish strong in and encouraged his readers to do the same. His encouragement is to trust in and lean on the very one my grandmother too garnered her strength from. Jesus her solid rock. It's an example I gladly hold fast to and teach my children to rely on for their lives. Granny Clara's life was one well lived and her race was one that stayed the course and finished strong. For me an inspiration worthy of reflection.
Posted with love, from a very grateful grand daughter - Lynda
Posted by Lynda at 6:36 AM